Febuary 21, 2001
Letters to the Editor
Globe and Mail
The Globe's call for Canada's role in the Ukraine Murder Mystery, Globe and Mail Feb 20, is supported by our organization and many democratic-minded Canadians. The instrument of intervention must be sharp and true; ensuring that Ukraine benefits.
Some of the past interventions of Canada and the West have not been quite sterling: consider the nuclear disarmament of Ukraine but not Russia; or its half-in half-out membership in NATO. Both were a nod to Russia's interests rather than Ukraine's or ours, for that matter.
It is paramount that a Canadian strategy ensures Ukraine's independence from Russia - a key element for global peace and security; keeps it away from communism and the oligarches - a pre-condition of market reforms; and does not strike at its already beleaguered citizens, an undesired consequence of economic sanctions.
To begin, Canada might offer to lead an independent international inquiry into Mr. Gongadze's death with a prominent Ukrainian Canadian like Mr. Romanow in the lead. This should be more conducive to restoring President Kuchma's credibility than the Soviet -like hard line he has promised to use against "Anarchy, despotism, and lawlessness" as he calls the anti-government events in Ukraine in his statement of Feb 14. The latter is a recipe for disaster and Canada must tell him so.
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation