February 1, 2019
It has been two months since Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews in international waters, and still neither the vessels nor the crews have been returned to Ukraine. The international community, including Canada, has largely moved on without an adequate response to Russia’s brazen aggression. And to date, Russia has paid no price for its aggression. The West, in particular Canada, must respond urgently and with strength to prevent further aggression.
We call on Canada, in coordination with the U.S., the EU and NATO, to support Ukraine against Russian aggression by:
a) Implementing specific sanctions against Russia in response to the Kerch Strait attack – sanctions on Russian state financial institutions; and sanctions on Russian shipping, including denying Russian Navy vessels access to Western ports to resupply and refuel;
b) Imposing stronger economic sanctions on Russia, including the removal of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system;
c) Increasing military assistance to Ukraine, including providing Ukraine with naval armaments, anti-ship missile systems, patrol boats, radar systems and surveillance equipment;
d) Leading a robust multi-national freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea to help demonstrate support for internationally recognized borders, bilateral agreements, and safe passage through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov;
e) Calling on European governments to cancel the Nord Stream – 2 pipeline and support European energy security through a policy of reducing reliance on the Russian Federation.
Any policy of appeasement is the wrong path to peace. It is essential that the international community sends the right signals to the Kremlin now. In the coming months, any talk of both sides de-escalating, as is already heard in some European quarters, needs to be replaced by clear and unambiguous support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression. Moscow should be made painfully aware of the consequences, should it seek to test Western resolve and Ukrainian resilience any further.
The new Cold War is the direct result of Western efforts since 2014 to appease Moscow and avoid the uncomfortable reality of a revanchist Russia. This brand of wishful thinking must give way to the kind of clarity that won the first Cold War. Ultimately, there can be no equivalence between Ukrainian resistance and Russian aggression. If Russia stops fighting, there will be no war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no Ukraine.
Ліґа Українців Канади Крайова Управа League of Ukrainian Canadians National Executive
9 Plastics Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M8Z 4B6 Tel: 416-516-8223 Fax: 416-516-4033 E-mail: email@example.com
LUC is a member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress