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|CGDU Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau re Canada's role at NATO Summit in Warsaw||TOP|
June 22, 2016
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
We are writing to seek Canada’s strong intervention at the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw that you will be attending. The members will be addressing the changing reality for peace and security. This letter focuses on Russia’s aggression and the absolute need to assist Ukraine because of its strategic importance in the defence of Europe. We strongly urge that Canada take a major leadership role at the meeting and we call for enhanced defence capabilities for Ukraine and for a Canadian-led initiative within NATO.
We applaud NATO’s efforts to bolster its European members’ defence and expand initiatives with Ukraine. Yet, we are forced to stress that Russia's two-year war of aggression in Ukraine shows no signs of abating. Ukraine is today’s bulwark against President Vladimir Putin’s global criminality. It is, therefore, mandatory to assist Ukraine in more direct and meaningful ways, not only for its own sake, but also for the protection of NATO members.
Ukraine was and is a peaceful neighbour of NATO and other EU states. It seeks normal, pacific relations with all neighbours. Yet Russia chose to attack Ukraine in an effort to change European borders by force. There can be no illusions that the peace and security of the European continent are under direct threat from Russia: NATO membership is the deterrent.
It has been touted-- particularly by those on the political left-- that NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe precipitated president Putin’s aggression. The facts do not bear this out. At the 2008 NATO Summit Ukraine and Georgia were denied the NATO Membership Action Plan due to Russia’s pressure. Despite the concession Russia invaded Georgia and a few years later -- without further NATO enlargement -- proceeded to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity. It is abundantly clear that for Russia it is not NATO’s strength that provokes; rather the perception of any weakness or the lack of determination to deal with Russia’s illegal annexations and wars.
Russia’s national security strategy, signed by president Putin January 1, 2016 designates NATO’s defensive posture as a threat to Russia’s security. Its damaging propaganda does the rest. Russia’s Levada Centre’s June report finds that Russians consider the USA—the key military player in NATO—their number one enemy, while Ukraine -- defending its sovereignty against Russia’s military might -- is number two.
Prime Minister, Ukraine may not be a member of NATO but Russia’s invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and further incursion into the Donbas is a de facto NATO Article 5 situation.
Russia has shown over and over again that it holds to the old Soviet adage that promises are made to be broken. It is not to be trusted. It has violated international agreements including the Budapest Memorandum and Minsk Agreements. In Syria, Russia aggressively pursues goals at odds with its undertakings and allied security interests. Its hate propaganda means to split NATO and undermine Europe’s resolve. There is no time to waste: NATO must develop a robust strategy to strengthen its position vis-a- vis Russia globally. Bolstering Ukraine to protect it for its own sake and to protect Europe is uppermost.
It is therefore mandatory for NATO to strengthen Ukraine’s defense of its territory. We ask Canada to speak forcefully to this objective as we are certain that our views are in keeping with a free, secure and stable world.
The task of addressing global peace and security by dealing with Russia’s invasion in Ukraine may not have adequate time at the Summit. We, therefore ask you, Prime Minister, to bring forward a proposal: that the Summit establish a task-force, under Canada’s lead, to enhance and expand a comprehensive defence strategy for Ukraine to include
We thank you again for working to ensure Canada’s enduring friendship with a free Ukraine by taking our concerns and proposal seriously into account. We will be following the Summit and your visit to Ukraine with the greatest of interest.
Please - Just do it.
Тhank you! Дякую і вперед!
|Media Release: Re: Urging for a New NATO initiative to be proposed by PM Trudeau at the Warsaw Summit||TOP|
Date: June 24, 2016
Re: Urging for a New NATO initiative to be proposed by PM Trudeau at the Warsaw Summit
Ottawa, June 24 — Canada should propose a task force to “enhance and enlarge a comprehensive defence strategy for Ukraine” at the NATO Summit in Warsaw next month.
The request, made by the Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine in its June 22 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stresses the absolute need to assist Ukraine because of “its strategic importance in the defence of Europe against Russia.”
“President Putin is not only fighting a war in Ukraine. It’s his opening assault on NATO and Europe designed to give Russia power via criminality and aggression,” says Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, a Group co-founder. “Ukraine has been Europe’s first line of defence for over two years now. We can’t let it be the meat sandwiched between NATO and Russia defending Europe, and our democratic way of life on its own. Time for more help.”
Even though Ukraine is not a member of NATO Russia’s invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and further incursion into the Donbas is a “de facto NATO Article 5 situation,” states the letter.
The Group wants NATO to develop a robust strategy to strengthen its position vis-a-vis Russia globally by strengthening Ukraine. The letter calls for Canada to propose a task-force, under its leadership, to do the job. This should include more military training and additional defence equipment. It should find “a concrete path for Ukraine to NATO’s membership”.
“Such an initiative would benefit Canada. It would give us a greater global profile and restore some of the influence lost by pulling out our CF-18s from the ISIS fight,” she stresses.
The British choice to exit the EU is significant. “Russia perceives UK's vote as reinforcement for Putin’s aggressive and war-mongering strategy to divide and rule. That makes NATO's stand for Europe and global democratic values even more vital. Canada's initiative would work to those ends,” says Myroslava Oleksiuk, a CGDU co-founder.
Letter included & at: http://cg4du.blogspot.ca/
For further information please contact:
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
|Toronto: Evening on the Lake with
Yvan Baker -- July 20, 2016
& Issues advanced by Yvan Baker
Yvan Baker's statements in Parliament:
Calling on Support for Ukraine
|CGDU Letter to Minister Dion re increasing sanctions against Russia||TOP|
June 15, 2016
Thank you for responding to our request and intervening in the release of Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian military pilot illegally sentenced in Russia for a fabricated crime. Her freedom has given Ukraine a psychological boost and strengthens Canada’s global position as a champion of human rights.
We are writing to urge Canada to continue doing the right thing.
It has been over 1,000 days since the Revolution of Dignity began. Then, Ukraine was seeking a peaceful transition to a new order; a just, European society. It is steadfast on this path.
But the price of democracy is overwhelming-- death, destruction, displacement, inflation-- due to the Russia’s invasion. For these reasons sanction against Russia must not be removed but strengthened when they come up for review later this month.
There is no reason to do otherwise. As you well know, they were implemented in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. To date, Russia has not only failed to withdraw but has advanced into a proxy war in Ukraine’s Donbas killing some 9,333, wounding 21,396, and displacing about 1.7 million. Yet Ukraine heroically withstands the onslaught threatening its sovereignty.
The importance of continuing sanctions against Russia by Canada and others, cannot be underestimated to the ongoing democratization of Ukraine’s society: It is the moral and spiritual balm to a wounded and threatened fellow-democracy. For Canada, and other democracies, it is today’s test of our values.
It is our view, however, that the absence of punishment commensurate with its growing crimes propels Russia to further atrocities not only in Ukraine but in Syria and elsewhere. As a result many other countries, in particular those with strategic coastlines are threatened: Even Canada’s arctic is vulnerable. At the same time, President Putin’s irresponsible hate propaganda and sabre rattling a la North Korea amounts to psychological warfare.
This must stop. Greater robustness in dealing with Russia is needed.
To this end we ask Canada to seek from all signees of sanctions against Russia a more equivalent and fuller listing of culpable persons to cover existing loopholes. But more is needed to show our resolve against two-years of Russia’s advances. We ask Canada to lead globally by seeking agreement from our friends and allies to put Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on the sanction list. Equally important, let Canada seek Russia‘s removal from SWIFT, a position advocated by the Liberals during the election campaign.
Minister Dion, the purpose of strengthening sanctions is to punish the criminal not the victim. With that in mind, we also ask Canada to intervene with other like-minded states to stop pressuring Ukraine to hold elections in Donbas while Russia is waging war. Such one-sided capitulation to the aggressor is wrong: It borders on collaboration with Russia’s atrocities and human rights violations unacceptable to Canada’s values and global standing. It strengthens—de facto—Russia’s battle for the hearts and minds of Canadians and our global community.
Minister, we thank you in advance for doing the right thing; using Canada’s substantial influence globally to support the amazingly courageous efforts of Ukraine by dealing more effectively with Russia through increased sanctions.
Your consideration and response to our profound concerns is greatly appreciated and will be followed assiduously.
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
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