Despite Canada's aggressive tone with Russia amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, it appears the federal government is not putting all of its money where its mouth is — at least, not when it comes to sanctions.
Canada has generally been in lockstep with the United States and European Union when it comes to exacting punishments on those deemed responsible for fomenting the unrest in Ukraine. In that regard, the federal government has imposed sanctions on nearly 100 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and businesses since the crisis erupted.
But at least three Russian businessmen with close ties to President Vladimir Putin have curiously been excluded from Canada's sanctions list, calling into question the government's tough stance over Ukraine.
While the United States has sanctioned Sergey Chemezov, who runs industrial and military corporation Rostec, and Igor Sechin, CEO of oil company Rosneft, the two have not been banned from travelling to Canada or had their assets frozen. Both, reportedly, have significant business ties to Canada.
Thomson Reuters reported earlier that Rostec has an aircraft assembly joint venture lined up with Bombardier Inc., while Rosneft owns about 30 per cent of an Exxon Mobil Corp. oil field in Alberta.
CBC News has also learned that Canadian and American sanctions are not in sync with regards to Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways and one of the most powerful men in Russia. While Yakunin has been blacklisted by the U.S., Canada has not made any moves against him.
According to the Russian Embassy, Yakunin's company had signed an infrastructure agreement with Quebec's SNC-Lavalin for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Russian Railways also signed a commercial agreement with the Railway Association of Canada in 2009.
SNC-Lavalin and the Railway Association of Canada did not respond to CBC News requests for comment.
Russian business elite excluded from Canada's sanctions list