Friday, March 14, 2014

Could this be Ukraine Crisis Degenerating into Canada as Man Stabs Russian Diplomat

Police were called Friday morning to an apartment building in Sandy Hill close to the Russian Embassy in Ottawa. (Meredith O'Hara/CBC)
Ottawa police say a Russian diplomat was stabbed at an apartment building near his embassy in Canada.

Police Insp. Murray Knowles said Friday that the 44-year-old man's injuries were not life-threatening. Authorities have not released the victim's name and say it's not yet clear what prompted the attack.

A Canadian man was taken into custody with help from Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who were near the building at the time of the stabbing Friday morning.

Knowles says no charges have been filed, but that could change. The suspect's identity was not released.

A 44-year-old man was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries after he was found with stab wounds at 400 Stewart St. in Sandy Hill, a neighbourhood that is home to many embassies.

Ottawa police have arrested a man in connection with the stabbing.

The investigation falls under the jurisdiction of the Ottawa police, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development John Baird.

"We're obviously deeply, deeply disturbed by reports and our department has been in touch with the Russian Embassy," Baird said Friday afternoon. "Thus far, we have nothing to indicate this was anything to do with being politically motivated, a politically motivated incident in nature."

Baird said Canada's relationship with Russia will not be a factor in the investigation.

"Obviously we have important responsibilities under the Vienna Convention, to work to keep missions and foreign personnel safe. We take that very, very seriously and in no way, shape or form the challenging period in our current relationship should not come into it," he said.

Residents of the building where the stabbing took place said many staff from the Russian Embassy and other embassies live there.

The building is about a block and a half away from the Russian Embassy and police said a Russian interpreter was needed to translate for witnesses during the investigation.

Sandy Hill is a neighbourhood that features a mix of student housing, embassies and ambassadors' homes.

No details were provided about the man police have in custody, but Insp. Murray Knowles of the Ottawa Police Service said more information could be released later Friday.

Military police said Ottawa police asked them to come to the scene, but "it was quickly determined that the Ottawa Police Service is the force of jurisdiction in this matter

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