Canada-Russia: cooperation or deep concerns?
On February 1, 2019, Tatiana Moskalkova, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, held a meeting with Stephane Jobin, Canada’s Charge d’Affaires.
According to Moskalkova’s official website, the Russian Ombudswoman and the Canadian diplomat discussed some existing human rights issues and international practices in defending rights and freedoms of people. The Ombudswoman explained her role and tools which she is entitled to in order to protect individuals in Russia. Moskalkova shared with Jobin what types of questions she mostly deals with and mentioned the importance of human rights diplomacy in general and in connection with violations of Russian citizens’ rights abroad.
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Встретилась с Временным поверенным в делах Канады в Российской Федерации Стефаном Жобеном. Обсудили с господином Жобеном широкую правозащитную повестку. Считаю, что такие встречи очень важны для развития конструктивного международного диалога, направленного на укрепление гарантий защиты прав и свобод человека в мире. #уполномоченныйпоправамчеловекаврф #упч #омбудсмен #москалькова #правачеловека #humanrights
Meanwhile, as reported by Sputnik, on January 24, 2019, Canada’s Charge d’Affaires visited a detained former US Marine, Paul Whelan, who holds Canadian, US, UK and Irish citizenships and is accused of espionage. Canada also continues to blame Russia for criminal negligence regarding human rights abuses in Chechnya. Since the publication of the OSCE Rapporteur’s Report under the Moscow Mechanism on alleged Human Rights Violations and Impunity in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation in December 2018, Global Affairs Canada has already issued two statements calling on Russia to stop human rights abuses against LGBTQ2 in this region and to bring to justice the perpetrators. One of the statements was co-signed by 30 member-states of the Equal Rights Coalition. In the absence of any press releases from the Canadian side, the above-mentioned website of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation does not disclose if these issues were discussed during the meeting.