Canada’s role in post-election Ukraine
On May 8, 2019, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Ukraine where she met with President Petro Poroshenko, President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy, to discuss Canada’s support for the country, including its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
With President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to his official website, the parties talked over corruption fighting strategies and Minsk Agreements to halt the war in Donbas. During his meeting with the Canadian Minister, President Petro Poroshenko thanked Canada for introducing the so-called Azov package of sanctions and called for more sanctions against Russia in response to a recent executive order to grant Russian citizenship for Ukrainians from Donetsk and Lugansk regions signed by Vladimir Putin. His administration also reported that Petro Poroshenko insisted on the importance of deploying a UN peacekeeping mission to Donbas and to that part of the Ukraine-Russia border. At the same time, the issue of the Russian executive order which facilitates the citizenship application procedure for the residents of Donbas was raised with Chrystia Freeland by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin. Via his Twitter, Volodymyr Groysman announced that the Canadian Foreign Minister promised to take it up to a G7 level. As stated by Global Affairs Canada, “Canada’s commitment to working with the international community to maintain pressure on Russia” was underlined in the course of Freeland’s talks with Pavlo Klimkin.
Earlier, on May 7, Russia news agency RIA Novosti announced that the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister informed the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov about her scheduled trip to Ukraine when they met at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. Quoted by the agency, Sergei Lavrov responded that Freeland’s meeting with the Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy would be beneficial for both of them.