Saudi Arabia-Canada spat hits 16,000 students as the Kingdom suspends scholarships

Pari Johnston of Universities Canada says international students contribute $15 billion to the Canadian economy

Russian Federation voiced support for Saudi Arabia in its worsening row with Canada on Wednesday, telling Ottawa it was unacceptable to lecture the kingdom on human rights.

Saudi Arabia's diplomatic row with Canada is showing no signs of slowing.

Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was "considering additional measures" against Canada, without elaborating.

The first official Russian comment on the Saudi-Canadian dispute came from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which confirmed Moscow's refusal to politicize human rights issues, noting that Saudi Arabia has the right to determine the course of its own internal reforms.

In addition to the trade freeze, Riyadh has stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and "is coordinating for the transfer of all Saudi patients from Canadian hospitals".

Since then, the Saudi kingdom has pursued a scorched-earth policy towards anything related to Canada.

Several countries have expressed support for Saudi Arabia, including Egypt and Russian Federation, which both told Ottawa it was unacceptable to lecture the kingdom on human rights. The Saudi government on Sunday recalled its ambassador to Ottawa, barred Canada's envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade, denouncing Canada for statements about people detained on criminal charges.

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Saudi's asset sales may not have a big impact on the Canadian currency, although thin trading during the summer holiday could exacerbate that effect.

"We don't know which one, but the market has sold off, and the Canadian dollar also sold off from about that time".

"Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the affairs of Canada in any way".

The Canadian currency dropped as much as 0.5 per cent to 76.21 U.S. cents after the Financial Times reported that the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds have instructed their overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday.

All Saudi Arabian students now studying in Canada will be transferred to other countries. A Saudi airline has also interrupted flights to the North American country. Saudi central bank and state pension funds told their overseas asset managers to unload Canadian bonds, stocks, and cash holdings "no matter the cost", the report said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly expected to be pressed on the diplomatic crisis at a press conference in Montreal.

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