Canadian government officials discourage business travel to Russia

May 22, 2014 |

Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, is discouraging business travel to Russia amid the current crisis in Ukraine. According to The Globe and Mail, the federal government as well as the governments in Alberta and British Columbia and Suncor Energy Inc., canceled plans to attend the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow.

“Canada is determined to support Ukraine and will continue to work with our allies and like-minded countries to apply pressure that will further isolate Russia economically and politically, until the Putin regime clearly demonstrates its respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Fast said in a statement. “We encourage Canadian senior business executives to refrain from attending high-profile events in Russia such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Innoprom and the World Petroleum Congress.”

Although Alberta is not prohibiting other companies from attending, it is asking those that do to avoid speaking and interacting with officials from Russia as the province serves as home for many residents with Ukrainian heritage, The Globe and Mail reported.

In early May, Ottawa announced opposition to join an exclusive global forum of 34 countries in the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED), which has also delayed allowed Russia membership.

A boycott of the energy conference is a first for the Canadian energy sector, the source reported.

Other companies and provincial governments that have dropped out of the World Petroleum Congress include Calfrac Well Services Ltd., the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association, Enerflex Ltd, Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., the World Petroleum Council Canada, Quebec and the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism in Nova Scotia, according to The Globe and Mail.