Canada's role in Ukraine's crisis

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On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced, in response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, that Canada would be barring key Ukrainian Government Officials responsible for “the violent repression of legitimate protest” from entering Canada.

According to Minister Baird, the Canadian government continues to monitor the situation in Ukraine on an “hour-by-hour” basis.

Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett also just recently concluded a successful visit to Kyiv. And this most recent announcement by Minister Baird and Minister Alexander comes on the heels on three major developments in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Parliament repealed anti-protesting laws on Tuesday, and debated granting amnesty to jailed protestors on Wednesday.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov also resigned Tuesday.

Yet, in spite of these consecutive measures, Ukraine’s first post-independence President, Leonid Kravchuk, warned that Ukraine remains “on the brink of civil war.”

Minister Baird and Minister Alexander also made clear that Canada’s response to the crisis would continue to be in collaboration with the European Union and the United States:

“We believe it will take more than words to establish trust with the people, and Canada will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people, who courageously continue to speak out in support of democracy.

“Canada will continue to monitor developments in Ukraine, and, with our international partners, consider further options if necessary.”

Their full statement can be found here.

Given the ever-changing landscape in Ukraine, a coordinated response is likely to have the most impact.

Image: Ivan Bandura/Flickr

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Elise Belzil is a UBC graduate of Political Science and English Literature who enjoys "keeping up" with all things political and pop culture related. This former Albertan can be found around Vancouver indulging in sushi, good coffee, and great local beers.

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