CG4DU | 17Apr2018 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
[email protected]

Letter to Chrystia Freeland re Ukraine Issues

April 17, 2018

Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
[email protected]

Dear Madame Minister,

As former Soviet Union nations continue progressing peacefully towards democratization and international rule of law, the Russian Federation resists.

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia attacks sovereign neighbours, aids dictators, flaunts truths, laws and agreements. The Kremlin wages hybrid wars through the Orthodox faith, cyber-attacks, propaganda and violent conflicts. It does so globally; particularly in democratic states it wants to cower, upturning global peace and security. Russia must stop, or must be stopped, before its strategically planned global cataclysm rains down upon us.

The importance of the G-7 foreign minister meeting, therefore, cannot be underestimated. To that end, we offer some thoughts for your consideration and sharing with your G-7 counterparts.

The latest round of sanctions, imposed by the Unites States against its actions in Syria, Ukraine, the US, the UK, EU and other democratic states, staggered Russia. We, therefore, ask the G-7 governments for additional sanctions. As minimum, synchronize up to those recently imposed by the U.S. Also, add the key offender, President Putin to the list.

Canada must respond in solidarity with its allies to Russia’s treacherous poisoning of citizens of Great Britain and Syria, and address the substantial shortfalls of its current list.

Madame Minister, we’re proud of Canada’s UNIFIER program with Ukraine and call for greater participation by all G-7 countries. Such defence programs strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces, foster bonds among allies, and build a united front against Russia’s aggression.

But more must be done.

Ukraine’s NATO Membership Action Plan needs to be fast-tracked. As you may know, over 40 countries support Ukraine’s request for UN peacekeepers in Russia-occupied territories and along its border. Because it might veto this appeal in the UN Security Council, the creation of a temporary international administration mechanism needs serious consideration. Here, Canada is uniquely qualified, and capable of taking the lead with its allies.

Regrettably, it is no secret that while Ukraine’s warriors are sacrificing lives -- defending home and Europe -- corruption is endemic and growing in Ukraine’s civilian and defence sectors. Corruption saps the morale of its soldiers and deprives them of essential equipment and supplies critical to oust Russia.

We commend Canada for inviting Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, to the meeting. He knows first-hand Russia’s global intentions and may have insights on how to deal with them. However, he should take back a key message: all G-7 foreign ministers expect his government to ensure that its armed forces and defence-related industry do not sabotage Ukraine’s freedom by allowing scoundrels -- especially those in high positions -- to abuse domestic and foreign resources committed to the nation’s security.

In battling corruption, Canada and others might pressure Ukraine to implement reforms and accept technical assistance for the development of transparency and controls vital to the proper use of public funds and property within the appropriate establishments.

Regarding energy, Russia has a history of using it to achieve political goals: It extorts concessions from those who dependent on its source. Therefore, we ask Canada and the G-7 colleagues to join the U.S. in encouraging Europeans to withhold approval of the Nord Stream pipeline. Economics do not justify it. The main intent is to tilt the balance of power in Russia’s favour by controlling energy supplies to the EU and bypassing Ukraine. Such isolation will facilitate Russia’s goal of further occupation. Furthermore, the pipeline poses a significant risk to the environment; another key aspect of global security and this meeting.

We close Minister, by thanking you and the other G-7 foreign ministers for efforts to maintain global peace and security. Recognizing President Putin’s lead of rogue states to undermine this goal, we are confident that avenues will be found to counter his increasingly destructive ways. Defeating his war against Ukraine and making it a strong democracy severely undermines his ends.

Therefore, we view Mr. Klimkin’s participation at the meeting as most significant and once again urge you and the G-7 ministers to consider our views designed to strengthen global security by halting Russia’s foreign strategy of spreading chaos.

With best wishes for a successful meeting and warmest regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Dr. Ihor Cap
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Lada L. Roslycky
Oksana Shmigelsky
Pavlo Sugolov
George Woloshyn
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Peter Boehm, DM for G7 Summit
Ian Shugart DM, Global Affairs
Stefanie Beck, ADM, Europe Middle East & Maghreb Leigh Sarty, DG, European Affairs
Hon. Andrew Scheer, MP
Jagmeet Singh
Hon. Erin O’Toole, MP
James Bezan MP
Helene Laverdiere, MP
Randall Garrison, MP
Pierre Paul-Hus, MP
Mathew Dube, MP
Borys Wrzesnewskyj MP
Senator Raynell Andreychuk
Ambassador Roman Waschuk
Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
Paul Grod, UCC
Eugene Czolij, UWC
James Temerty C.M.