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Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine | 15Sep2014 | to Stephen Harper

Petro Poroshenko's visit to Canada on 17 September 2014

September 15, 2014

Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Ontario
Email pm@pm.gc.ca

Mr. Prime Minister,

On the eve of President Petro Poroshenko's visit to Canada our Group once again seeks to stress the extreme importance of Canada's support for Ukraine.

Your government is to be lauded for our steadfast backing of the young democracy. Unfortunately, Russia's military action against Ukraine means that Canada's generous words, humanitarian and economic aid are no longer adequate. We are certain that you and Canada's friends and allies know only too well that the threat to Ukraine requires military assistance.

President Petro Poroshenko will undoubtedly raise this with you. We fully recognize the delicate balancing act that is involved in dealing with international policies of this magnitude and import. However, Russia is getting bolder by the day with overt offensive military operations and brazen political demands designed to usurp Ukraine’s sovereignty. The aggressor is emboldened by a lack of a clear signal from Ukraine’s friends that enough is enough.

We therefore ask, Prime Minister, that Canada responds favourably and urgently to Ukraine’s request. Its 23 year-history of being on the threshold of NATO is a difficult and complex one, but Canada more than any other NATO member is well positioned to sponsor Ukraine in its efforts to join the Euro-Atlantic fold. As for military aid in the short-term, when Ukraine needs it for its survival but is not yet in NATO, Canada is also well positioned to guide the way.

To assuage the concern that it might fall into the wrong hands, we ask Canada to take the lead in offering military aid accompanied with support for eradicating corruption.

Such an approach -- military aid with oversight -- would also have a direct consequence of reducing pro-Russian elements in Ukraine’s positions of power. Canada has significant knowledge and experience in civil democratic control over the military. It could be shared without incurring great expense: the benefits would be noteworthy. Ukraine’s own grass-root volunteer providers that sprang up in the wake of Maidan and have been providing support to the Anti Terrorist Operation would make worthy partners. To show progress in Ukraine’s own commitment towards the eradication of corruption, we ask Canada to raise with President Poroshenko the need to shut down former president Viktor Yanukovych's Ukrainian assets and put him on the international wanted list.

We believe, as many have stated, that Ukraine is fighting not just for its right to exist on its own terms but also a war against Russia’s determination to destabilize the West. The risk of a wider European conflagration sparked by Russia's aggression against a sovereign neighbour, unfortunately, exists with grave consequences for Canada's and international security. We therefore ask that Canada lead other democracies in recognizing the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of international terrorism.

Much work is needed to deal with Russia’s immediate military invasion. We therefore ask again that Canada’s deep friendship and support for Ukraine be complemented with adequate military involvement to ensure its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We thank you in advance for your favourable consideration of this urgent request.

Warmest regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Roman Jakubow
Roman Karpishka
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Oksana Shmigelsky

cc.
Hon. John Baird
Hon. Robert Nicholson
Hon. Julian Fantino
Hon.Thomas Mulcair
Hon. Justin Trudeau
Hon. Jason Kenney
Mr. Ted Opitz
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux
Ms. Peggy Nash
Mr. Wayne Marston
Mr. Mike Wallace
Ms. Francoise Boivan
Hon. Irwin Cotler
H.E. Vadym Prystaiko
H.E. Troy Lulashnyk
H.E. Yves Brodeur
H.E. David Plunkett
Mr. Paul Grod
Mr. Eugene Czolij
Mr. Victor Hetmanczuk



Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
Groupe Canadienne pour la Démocratie en Ukraine
Канадськa Група сприяння демократії в Україні

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