Ottawa city refuses Russian Embassy’s request to fly Russian flag to observe Russia Day

Image: Russian flag. Image credit: Facebook page

CMEDIA/The Russian Embassy in Ottawa’s request to the city of Ottawa to fly the Russian flag and illuminate a wing of City Hall in red, white, and blue to mark Russia Day on Sunday had been refused.

Arnold McLean, the city’s chief of protocol had said in a statement that his office received the request from the Embassy of the Russian Federation on Feb. 23, the day before Russian troops invaded Ukraine. 

The embassy asked the city to “raise their flag, and to illuminate the Heritage Building in recognition of Russia Day on June 12, 2022,” according to the statement.

Russia Day commemorates the creation of the Russian Federation on June 12, 1990 following which the national holiday was first observed in 1992.

As a result of the invasion on Feb. 24, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, ordered the flag of Ukraine to be flown at City Hall “for an indefinite period of time,” and urged the mayors of other G7 capitals to do the same.

Watson also directed the protocol office to decline the request from the Russian Embassy and added that he was surprised that they came and asked for it.

Watson joined Andrii Bukvych, chargé d’affaires at the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa in early March to install blue and yellow signs reading “Free-Libre Ukraine” on Charlotte Street, directly across from the Russian Embassy.

According to Ottawa’s official policy on flag-raising, the city will fly the flag of any nation on its national day with whom Canada has diplomatic relations..

Borys Gengalo, president of the Ottawa chapter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, was reported to say the fact that the Russian Embassy would make such a request on the eve of a brutal military invasion of a sovereign neighbor says a lot about their mentality.

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