Canada Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is ruling out a Western military intervention in Ukraine. But he won’t exclude other sanctions, including expelling Russia’s ambassador to Canada.
Mr. Baird called the Russian military intervention an ”old Soviet-style” aggression. He also won’t believe that the Russian justification for the Crimean occupation is based on the protection of their military bases and the Russian-speaking population in the region.
“The claims that President (Vladimir) Putin puts forward are absurd and ridiculous. He has no right to invade another country, a neighboring country that’s struggling for freedom and democracy.” he told the press on March 2nd, 2014.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada is withdrawing its ambassador from Russia and openly stated that they are stopping their preparatory meeting for the G8 summit, scheduled in Sochi in June.
Mr. Harper has also issued a statement calling Putin to withdraw the Russian troops from Ukraine.
“We join our allies in condemning in the strongest terms President Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine. These actions are a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia’s obligations under international law,” Harper said.
Although some call this an ”empty threat,” both Canada and the USA could greatly affect Russia by freezing their assets, trade and investment penalties and Visa bans. On the other side, the European Union (EU) needs Russia’s gas and oil, on a daily basis, and that passes through Ukraine.
Mr. Harper said Canada supports the United Nations when it comes to sending monitors to Ukraine. Canada is closely involved with the International Money Fund (IMF) to provide an emergency financial-aid package to relieve the financial problems of Ukraine as well.
Canada will most likely issue more statements in the next few days, looking forward to providing further updates when I get more information.
Thanks Jon, I see we are suspending some joint ventures also. I am pleased to see my country taking a stand. Cudos to Minister Baird for his "plain talk"
. ...Glad to see Canada taking this seriously. Of course Putin could care less about democracy... truth, justice, or higher (foreign) ratings. While not crazy... the "Polonium Kid" is definitely dangerous... but as someone on site pointed out... his immediate replacements in the wings are positively scary... . -YP-
JWade thanks for keeping us posted on the Canadian view point of the Russian/Ukraine matter.
Does anyone think this will have a real impact on Russian strategy? The cost to benefit ratio here does not make me believe that condemnation and sanctions will accomplish much. Any take on the Ukraine/China food connection and the position that Russia is now in to influence that relationship?
Good stuff JW...I like how Canada doesn't pull any punches and isn't shy about calling Putin out (re the old Soviet-style aggression). Good emphasis on that while they may take some time, sanctions and freezing assets are far from empty threats and will still hurt Mother Russia in the long-term.