The RCMP is investigating an alleged Molotov cocktail attack against the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, the national police force said on Monday, after Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry demanded Canada step up its protection of the building.
Earlier Monday, Russia’s ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, told Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik that a lit bottle containing a “chemical composition” was thrown onto the embassy’s grounds early on the morning of Sept. 12, but that it didn’t ignite. There was no damage, and no one at the embassy was injured, he said.
On Monday afternoon, the RCMP confirmed to CBC News that it had opened an investigation and that officers had been to the embassy to obtain more information. Earlier in the day, Ottawa police said they were not aware of the incident.
The embassy told CBC News it considered the incident a “terrorist act attempt” and said it had been in contact with Global Affairs Canada. The embassy provided CBC News with two videos of the alleged incident.
Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said it had also summoned Canada’s ambassador to issue a protest over the attack.
WATCH | Video shows Molotov cocktail thrown over fence, embassy says:
Video purportedly shows Molotov cocktail thrown at Russian Embassy
The Russian Embassy in Ottawa on Monday released surveillance video footage of what it says is an unknown person throwing what appears to be an incediary projectile onto the embassy grounds.
In a Russian-language statement on Monday afternoon, the ministry alleged police in Ottawa had turned a blind eye to “aggressive demonstrators” blocking public access to the embassy’s consular section, saying police had witnessed an incident but didn’t intervene.
The ministry also said authorities weren’t doing enough to prevent or detain those committing “hostile actions” against its diplomatic staff in what it called a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Stepanov also said the embassy should have a permanent police presence, Sputnik reported.
In a statement, the RCMP said it “constantly adapts its protective posture to the current threat environment in order to ensure an adequate level of protection is in place at the Russian Embassy.”
Adrien Blanchard, press secretary to Mélanie Joly, Canada’s foreign affairs minister, said that “violence and vandalism are not acceptable” and they will continue to follow any news about the incidents closely.
Meanwhile, a CBC reporter visited the embassy on Monday and saw no obvious signs of vandalism or damage.
In a show of solidarity and support for Ukraine and its people, the City of Ottawa in March installed street signs reading “Free-Libre Ukraine” along Charlotte Street in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood — right in front of the embassy.
Street signs reading ‘Free-Libre Ukraine’ are seen on Charlotte Street in Ottawa on Monday, near the embassy. (Rachelle Elsiufi/CBC)
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