Canada-Ukraine ties are getting stronger in the light of the Russian aggression

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Outline of Ukraine, based on a UN map of Ukraine and the Flag of Ukraine (United Nations Cartographic Section/Alex Khristov)

Canadian funding commitment to Ukraine

Canadian delegation, consisting of the Minister of International Development and Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group Borys Wrzesnewsky and the First Vice President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alexandra Chyczij, visits Ukraine on July 18 – 23, 2018, strengthening partnership between the two countries.

Canada, as a country with a large Ukrainian community, entitles itself as one of the strongest international supporters of Ukraine. In 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its backing of the eastern Ukrainian separatism, Ukraine was put in focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts. Since then, Canada has committed more than $750 million in funding to Ukraine, including a broad range of financial, development, stabilization and security, non-lethal military and humanitarian assistance. And while Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs still calls on Russia to de-escalate the crisis and call off its provocateurs, the Minister of International Development and Francophonie announced, during her press conference in Kyiv on July 19, the $30-million call for preliminary proposals to “fund innovative projects to enhance the economic security of rural women, especially those affected by the conflict in the eastern part of the country.”

“When we invest in women and the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, we give them the same opportunity as everyone else to become agents of change and contribute to building a better and more inclusive Ukraine,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Meanwhile, another member of the Canadian delegation to Ukraine, Borys Wrzesnewsky, gave the interview for the Ukrinform, which was published on July 20, where he stated that Canadian sanctions against Russia should be extended, especially those under Magnitsky Act, that “didn’t harm ordinary Russians, but were aimed against richness of an exclusive class and worked against those who violated the law.” He also offered “to impose sanctions on jailers, investigators, judges and all others involved in judicial proceedings,” in order to put more pressure on Russia to release Ukrainian political prisoners. However, the member of the Canadian Parliament from the Liberal Party specified that no success on this issue can be guaranteed, although it was worth raising awareness.

As reported by Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, until Russia clearly demonstrates its respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Canada will continue to work with its allies and like-minded countries to apply pressure that will further isolate Russia economically and politically.

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