Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson appears on a list of 87 senators who have been banned from Russia, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on April 13.
This, according to the the Russian Foreign Ministry, is in response to a number of sanctions announced by Canada on March 24, for “trying to be at the forefront of the Russophobic course of the current US administration.”
“I consider it to be an honour,” said Patterson.
On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing countries and organizations around the world to react to the deadly aggression.
Patterson has spent some time in Russia back when it was the Soviet Union, as part of cultural exchanges.
“I have travelled throughout Russia and the Soviet North. I’ve been involved in exchanges between the Canadian (North) and Soviet North and the Indigenous people we met (there) are good people,” he said.
Patterson said the Russians “made a choice” — a choice that has impeded work on the Arctic Council, which the Russians most recently chaired.
The Arctic Council is currently on hiatus due to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
“I’m very disapointed that the horrific war launched by the Russians has disrupted the work of the Arctic Council, which has functioned very effectively without issues of defence or security getting in the way of important cooperation of science, social issues and economic cooperation,” said Patterson.
He added that he has “no desire to return to Russia” as long as its President Vladimir Putin is still in charge, calling him an “immoral tyrant.”