The Canadian Government has joined their main ally, the United States of America, and other allies in a strong message against Russian intervention in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russian citizens and military personnel were at risk in Crimea, most notably around Sebastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, but ignored US President Barack Obama’s warning on Friday about a military intervention.
Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has called a special cabinet meeting after Russia’s Parliament approved a military intervention in Ukraine earlier this week. He also pledged Canada’s “very strong support” for Ukraine’s integrity.
Mr. Harper spoke with Barack Obama earlier today (1 mar 14) over the phone and agreed on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine should be respected. He has also spoken earlier this week with his British counterpart, Prime Minister David Cameron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is one of the main links between the Westerns leaders and Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is currently in Kiev firmly supporting the interim government. He said Canada would offer economic, political and technical support. He also stated Canada will work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and will provide observers for Ukraine’s spring election.
Mr. Baird told the press after a meeting with newly appointed interim President and Prime Minister of Ukraine:
‘’We stand on the side of the Ukrainian people’’. He also added ‘’we stand for peace, prosperity, security and freedom. We expect the Russian Federation to honour the commitments it made in the Budapest Declaration, committing to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, and we certainly don’t apologize for standing with the Ukrainian people in their struggle for freedom.”
Nothing was said about Canadian Forces readiness to offer a military intervention in a last resort effort.
Canada has 1.3 million Ukrainian-Canadians living safely on this side of the ocean. Although some might say that this is a political decision based on the 2015 elections, I firmly believe Canada is stating their position and will continue to work closely alongside their allies for Ukraine’s sovereignty.
I will keep you updated as the situation develops.