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Kinross Asks Canada for ‘Balanced Approach’ on Russia

Kinross Gold Corp., the largest foreign gold miner operating in Russia, told Canada it wants a “balanced approach” in resolving a standoff with Russia after the annexation of Crimea earlier this month.

“We have communicated to the government of Canada our desire to see a balanced approach to resolving this situation in a way that considers Canadian interests in Russia,” Andrea Mandel-Campbell, a spokeswoman for Toronto-based Kinross, said yesterday in an e-mail.

Kinross operates the Kupol and Dvoinoye mines in Russia’s far east, which Mandel-Campbell said haven’t been affected by the political situation. About 27 percent of Kinross’s 2014 gold-equivalent production, which includes silver, may come from Russia, the Toronto-based company said Feb. 12.

Canada has imposed financial sanctions and travel bans on Russian officials. The government also has recalled its ambassador to Russia, suspended military cooperation and pledged C$220 million ($197 million) in financial aid to Ukraine. The world’s leading industrial powers boycotted what was to be a Group of Eight summit hosted by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“A number of major Canadian companies have investments in Russia,” Mandel-Campbell said. “These companies have thousands of Canadian employees and shareholders -- including pensioners - - who deserve a measured and thoughtful response from government on this issue.”

‘Principled’ Policy

The Canadian government said that while it supports the efforts of domestic companies to grow overseas, “principled foreign policy” must take precedence over corporate interests.

“If by ‘balanced approach’ we are to understand that we should allow the Putin regime to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, then we cannot accept that,” Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Bombardier Inc., based in Montreal, said last week its plans to build planes in Russia and the sale of $3.4 billion of aircraft will be delayed as a result of the sanctions.

Russia has barred entry to 13 Canadians as retaliation for the sanctions, according to a list on its foreign ministry’s website.

Kinross fell 1.9 percent to C$5 at the close in Toronto. The shares have declined 13 percent this month.

Kinross is the largest foreign gold miner operating in Russia, according to the company’s website.

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