CG4DU | 04Jul2018 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
[email protected]

Letter to Chrystia Freeland re NATO Summit
(11/12Jul2018; Brussels, Belgium)

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

Dear Madame Minister,

We express our strong support of the NATO Alliance, and also urge a more visible and assertive Canadian role in it. Furthermore, we stress the importance of anchoring Ukraine to the Euro-Atlantic security community of democratic states. Above all, we seek a change in policy towards Russia: firmer opposition to Russia's continued, unprovoked war against Ukraine. The policy of Western accommodation has failed. Russia views it as weakness. It is increasingly and brazenly exploited by President Putin. At this time, we also express our deep concerns in light of the impending meeting between America's and Russia's presidents following the NATO Summit.

We understand that the US president can meet with any head of state. Given his highly personalized and erratic approach to foreign policy -- disregard for American principles and practices, disdain for professionals/experts -- Canada and its European Allies need to approach the Trump/Putin “summit” with utmost caution.

More, given the total lack of transparency, absence of any meaningful consultations -- let alone consensus-building -- there is an argument for us and like-minded friends and allies to dissociate ourselves publicly before the meeting from any deals that emerge from the encounter between the two. We respect the USA, but its current president does not speak for us.We should act measuredly but forthrightly in advance of any nefarious secret deals that could emerge from this meeting.

For this reason, we ask that Canada speak up forcefully for NATO as a deterrent to war in today’s shaky world. We also ask for recommitment to our European Allies as additional support for our joint security and as a pivotal counterpart to our currently strong bilateral relationship with the United States.We are convinced that on our own we would be hard pressed to assure our security a la the Switzerland model.

NATO is needed. However, to improve its effectiveness in deterring aggression by revisionist Russia -- ultimately preventing a major war -- the inclusion of the one state that is militarily engaged in maintaining our world order is paramount. Ukraine must be accommodated by NATO. NATO needs Ukraine; world peace and security need Ukraine. It is the front in defence of our freedom and human dignity. It has been holding-back and punishing Russia’s aggression in Europe for nearly five years. Alone! It’s experience in combatting Russia’s warfare in all its guises -- cyber, terror, disinformation, kinetic -- is unmatched and beyond any price tag.

Minister, it’s time to go beyond sanctions.To do this, NATO must find a way and the political will to admit Ukraine into its fold whether via membership or stronger military support.

In addition to this overarching goal, some other measures need to be put forward at the Summit. We propose that Canada lead in convincing NATO members to seek a majority in the UN to dislodge the Russian forces in Ukraine with a UN peacekeeping mission.

Most EU members find Germany’s agreement to allow Nord Stream 2 to proceed alarming -- given the fascist mind-set in the Kremlin and the consequences of the historic Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Energy is as much a weapon in Putin's hands as military hardware, cyber-attacks, propaganda, subversion and, of course, outright war.

The issue is already successfully dividing Europe and is counterproductive to holding Russia’s expansion there in check. Nord Stream 2 increases dependency on Russia’s energy, enables the import of further corruption into Europe and contributes financially to Russia's war machine not only against Ukraine but, ultimately, against Europe. It allows Russia’s “security” claims to prevent a Western naval reach in the Baltic states. It makes Russia stronger and Europe weaker. Most terrifying, it invites further Russian aggression.

Let us emphasize: Nord Stream 2 is a monumental threat to all. It requires immediate reversal.

In these difficult times, Canada must stake out its leadership position as the value bearer and strategic adult in the room. It must seek support for itself and other democracies by addressing Russia’s expansionism. It needs to declare unambiguously Ukraine’s determinative role in our security which, at present, is the only country whose soldiers and civilians -- nearly 11,000 to date -- are killed and maimed daily. Yes, it is defending its own country but defending our values too, and global security as well. Ukraine needs NATO’s help to help us all.

Minister, we thank you for seriously treating our position and wish you success in achieving forward momentum at the Summit.

With warmest regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Dr. Ihor Cap
Dr. Roman Jakubow
Vicki Karpiak
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Dr. Lada L. Roslycky
Victor Rud
Oksana Shmigelsky
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Helene Laverdiere, MP
Randall Garrison, MP
Pierre Paul-Hus, MP
Mathew Dube, MP
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP
Hon. Harjit Singh Sajjan, MP
Hon. Ralph Goodale, MP
Hon. Andrew Scheer, MP
Hon. Erin O’Toole, MP
James Bezan, MP
Jagmeet Singh, Leader NDP
Senator Raynell Andreychuk

Peter Boehm, DM for G7 Summit
Ian Shugart DM, Global Affairs
Stefanie Beck, ADM, Europe Middle East & Maghreb
Leigh Sarty, DG, European Affairs
Dalia Stein, Director G7, Operations
Kevin Rex, Director Eastern Europe Div.
Adam Austen, Director of Communications, FA
Ambassador Roman Waschuk
Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
James Temerty C.M.
Paul Grod, UCC
Eugene Czolij, UWC
Ihor Mychalchyshyn,UCC