Russia says Ottawa embassy attacked


The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Canadian ambassador on Monday, saying Ottawa police and RCMP had turned a blind eye to the attacks on his embassy.

Russian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov said an unidentified person ran from a nearby park towards the embassy shortly after midnight on September 12 and threw a lit Molotov cocktail over the fence before flee.

He said the device did not ignite and no property was damaged.

In a Russian-language statement on Monday afternoon, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said police turned a blind eye to “aggressive protesters” blocking public access to the embassy’s consular section.

Moscow says police witnessed the incident but did not intervene.

The Russian government has said authorities are not doing enough to prevent or detain those who commit “hostile actions” against its diplomatic personnel, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The office of Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said it was following the case closely.

“Violence and vandalism are not acceptable, and we understand that the relevant authorities are looking into this matter,” spokesman Adrien Blanchard wrote.

The Ottawa Police Service said it was not aware the embassy had filed a report.

“To our knowledge, there is no report to the police,” spokeswoman Carol Macpherson wrote.

The RCMP’s National Division, which is tasked with protecting foreign diplomatic properties, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Russian Embassy in Ottawa published an article on the state news site Sputnik, in which Stepanov says his staff needs police officers or a security guard permanently stationed at diplomatic missions.

The country has a separate embassy, ​​consulate and trade office in Ottawa, all three located near the Rideau River, as well as a consulate in Toronto and Montreal.

Stepanov said his officials provided police with video footage of the Molotov cocktail incident. “We are basically talking about an attempt to commit a terrorist act,” he said in the Sputnik post.

Moscow has summoned Canadian Ambassador Alison LeClaire, a move meant to officially register Russia’s growing anger against Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that Russia’s actions since invading Ukraine “clearly include war crimes”, noting reports of mass graves.

Joly’s office doubled down on this phrasing on Monday.

“We will spare no effort to hold Putin and his accomplices accountable for their war crimes,” Blanchard wrote.

“We will continue to impose severe costs on the Russian regime for this unwarranted invasion. »

The Russian Embassy is on Charlotte Street in Ottawa, where the city has installed “Free-Libre Ukraine” signs.

A bicycle painted blue and yellow sat outside the embassy for weeks until a group painted it black on August 16.

The group also painted a large Z on the sidewalk and lamppost, which is a sign indicating support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A passerby posted photos on social media of the group, who appeared to have arrived at the scene in a car with diplomatic plates.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 19, 2022.