CG4DU | 14Nov2014 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn

Canada Ukraine Plan for Action

Toronto -- Ukraine needs immediate Western help to deal with some pressing concerns against Russia’s aggression says the Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine in its Canada Ukraine Plan of Action submitted to the Government of Canada.

The CG4DU calls on Canada to help Ukraine in three areas: assist in dealing with Russia’s war of aggression; expand Western sanctions; and offer Western knowhow in tackling reforms and corruption. The Plan comprises fourteen actions.

“The West has been giving Russia the benefit of the doubt since the breakup of the USSR. We assumed Putin was like us. The action plan is a more realistic way of dealing with Putin and his backward, criminal dictatorship; fine for obedient insiders accumulating wealth, misery for the rest,” says Myroslava Oleksiuk, one of the signees.

The action plan aims to strengthen the West’s response to Putin’s treacherous aggression not just for Ukraine: for global peace and security. To this end Ukraine needs military assistance that individual NATO members can and need to provide immediately to counter Russia’s military presence in Ukraine.

“President Putin brags publicly ‘the bear does not ask, the bear takes’, and we let him,” says Oksana Bashuk Hepburn. “Putin is not just Ukraine’s enemy. He is not some rag-tag terrorist group like ISIS. He is much more dangerous. He is the head of a state with vast financial resources and a huge military and nuclear capability at his disposal. He has no internal checks on him and, as we see with Ukraine, no international oversight. He does as he wishes and we let him.”

One way to hold him in check is to assist Ukraine militarily as requested by its President Petro Poroshenko during his visit to Canada.

The Group urges immediate support for this and other issues from the Government of Canada while there is still time by creating a special task force to tackle this global urgency.

“We have asked members of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group to bring our action plan to the attention of all concerned ministers and officials in Canada and to seek support from other like-minded countries. We need a specific task force to focus on this huge and urgent issue,” adds Bashuk Hepburn.

The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine is dedicated to the furthering of democracy in Ukraine.
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For further information please contact:
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn 613 769 5996 or 941 387 8538
Myroslava Oleksiuk 416 471 5675

November 2014

To ensure a firmer response to President Vladimir Putin's war of terror in Ukraine, the Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine has consulted widely and offers a 14 point action plan for consideration by the Government of Canada and other governments supportive of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and the rule of law.

I. Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and the war outcome

Ukraine is winning the six-month war against Russia-led terrorists without Western military assistance. This is a war for democratic values-- freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity-- against despotism and aggression: Canada’s values. Ukraine and Western values must win. For that to happen Ukraine needs military assistance. Therefore:

1/ Canada needs to use suasion to convince the United States of America that its global leadership demands a stronger stance against Russia. President Putin is emboldened by President Obama’s reluctance to deal militarily with Russia’s terror in Ukraine.

2/ Canada needs to declare Russia as a terrorist export state like ISIS, Syria and Iran and convince the US to do likewise as well as gain support from other likeminded friends in particular Australia, Poland, Sweden and the Baltic States.

3/ Canada needs to act and urge others to take advantage of NATO’s decision to allow individual members to send military aid to Ukraine.

4/ Under no circumstances can Russia be allowed to weasel its way into undermining the international communities’ position concerning the illegal annexation of Crimea or become a negotiator for the occupied Luhansk and Donetsk territories. As Russia claims that it plays no part in the aggression it, therefore, has no business in playing a part in its resolution.

II. Sanctions

There cannot be any cut backs of sanctions until Russia pulls out of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk and meets obligations set out in a variety of other agreements including Minsk, the Budapest Memorandum, and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. ( Note: Crimea was not “given” to Ukraine. It was exchanged for Ukrainian territories in southeastern Ukraine given to Russia.) Ukraine is the aggrieved party here; Russia is the aggressor. It must pay the price for having invaded a sovereign state, disrupted the world order, broken international agreements and killed, abducted, tortured and displaced citizens of another country while destroying a neighbour’s economy, infrastructure and lives. To this end:

1/ Canada must urge democracies to increase punitive sanctions against Russia as it continues to violate cease-fire agreements and fails to adhere to its international commitments.

2/ Canada and others must harmonize sanctions to shore up loopholes and shame those who abuse them. Serving as image or financial consultants to corrupted criminals of Ukraine’s previous presidency is tantamount to collaborating with terrorists -- and calls for sanctions. The removal of two Russian banks from Canada’s sanction lists needs to be reversed.

3/ Canada needs to curtail exchanges with Russia -- political, government, sport, academic, cultural -- in favour of increased exchanges with Ukraine, and persuade other governments to do likewise. Events, like the pro-Putin concert in London, with Queen Elizabeth invited, need to be exposed for what they are: pro-terrorist rallies. They demonstrate to Putin Europe’s lack of resolve in opposing Russia’s unlawful behaviour and thereby weakens the censure that sanctions are intended to convey.

4/ Canada must convince other G-20 members, in particular Australia the host country, to disinvite Mr. Putin out of respect for the Australians murdered in the dawning of the Malaysian airplane by Russian-led terrorists using Russian equipment. Canada, too, had an innocent victim. Doing less pays homage to and encourages the predator. It gives credence to his lies and propaganda.

III. Fighting corruption and moving forward on reforms

Supporting the values of Maidan -- dignity without corruption -- requires establishing a long-term relationship between Canada and Ukraine that can exist despite great distances. Drawing on the “family” ties and underscoring the benefits to both countries an enhanced Canada/Ukraine relationship would provide Ukraine with a Western mentor to help it get through the transition years while it tackles corruption and reforms.

In turn, Canada can gain a foothold in one of the largest and richest countries-- in natural and human resources-- in Europe and in its political and economic development by:

1/ Helping Ukraine eliminate parliamentary immunity that allows criminals posing as legislators to escape prosecution;

2/ Establishing a Help Ukraine Taskforce comprising senior public servants to assist Ukraine in establishing itself as the new democratic frontier supported by Canada’s expertise and best practices including the military/private sector oversight; judicial, fiscal, tax reforms; and reorganization of the public sector;

3/ Working with Ukraine’s government and grass roots entities, particularly supporting newly formed civic organizations (as opposed to traditional members of the ‘NGO-cracy’) devoted to fighting corruption and implementing reforms in order to build institutional relationships and strengthen Ukraine’s capacity;

4/ Increasing exchanges with Ukraine by substituting Russia's attendees with those from Ukraine;

5/ Learning from Ukraine about the danger of losing national independence by passing ownership of Canada’s strategic industries -- energy, agriculture, natural resources -- to Russia. Paying attention to Canada’s Arctic. Balancing Russia’s propaganda on Canadians by adequately presenting the reality;

6/ Providing Ukraine with adequate human and financial support to reflect commitment to Canada’s values and thus expedite its European integration which it has chosen over that with Russia.

We thank you again for your ongoing efforts. We are most anxious to discuss this critically important global issue at your earliest convenience to further clarify Canada Ukraine relations. This will be particularly important given the Rada elections which are expected to bring in a new pro-Ukraine, pro-West and pro- reform political parliament. It will welcome, we’re sure, all the help it can get from Canada.

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Oksana Shmigelsky
Roman Zakaluzny

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

Email: [email protected]