Whether it's sharp differences over gay rights, political meddling in Ukraine or controversy over same sex adoptions, there's no shortage of acrimony between Canada and Russia these days.
But it's not all bad, insists Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird — himself an outspoken critic of Russia's so-called anti-gay law — because he says the two countries are getting along just fine in one important area: the Arctic.
"On the Arctic and other issues, we can and have worked well," Baird said in a recent interview. "I have a professional relationship with my Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
"I don't agree with him on some things. But he's a smart, experienced and effective foreign minister for his government."
Baird's careful diplomatic language comes in the face of some other, more recent tough talk from him on those three other major irritants in the Canada-Russia relationship as the Winter Olympics in Sochi are set to begin next month.
Baird says Canada, Russia work well in Arctic