Canada-Russia relations under scrutiny

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Ukrainian Canadians do not welcome the anniversary

On June 12, when Russia celebrated its national day, the Canadian Embassy in this country was criticized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for commemorating the 1942 agreement establishing diplomatic relations between Canada and the USSR.

The Canadian diplomatic mission evidently tried to contribute its share to the Russian festivity by calling June 12 “a special date” for Canada-Russia relations. According to the Embassy’s Twitter account, “Canada believes in the importance of keeping strong ties with the people of Russia” and “dialogue in areas of mutual interests.” However, such cordiality immediately caught sight of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress which could not support that the Canadian diplomats had marked “78 years of diplomatic relations with a tyrannical, genocidal, imperial regime.” These Ukrainian Canadians tweeted back accusing the USSR of having been “a prison of nations whose regime committed genocide and murdered millions of people.”

“Thank God the USSR is gone, @CanadaRussia celebration of establishing diplomatic relations notwithstanding.”

At the same time, the Russian side also posted some information about this date in the history of the two countries’ bilateral relations. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded how the USSR Ambassador to the UK Ivan Maisky and the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for His Majesty’s Government in Canada, Vincent Massey, signed this historic agreement by means of its Facebook page. In turn, the Russian Embassy in Canada reassured that that spirit of solidarity “is remembered and praised in Russia.”

Meanwhile, as reported by TASS, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Russian community in Canada could only hold a virtual celebration organized by the Council of Russian-Canadian Cooperation. In addition, the Russian General Consulate in Toronto showcased how the Russian Bashkir community lit Niagara Falls in the colours of the Russian flag. The actual flag was also raised on the courtesy flagpole at Toronto City Hall on the same day.

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