April 9, 2021
OTTAWA, ON. Amid escalating Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) met today with the Honourable Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In the last week (April 1- 8) six Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and five wounded in 77 attacks by Russian and proxy forces, 19 of which involved use of heavy weapons – mortars and artillery. This increase in attacks has been coupled with significant Russian troop and materiel movements, which have raised concern among NATO and G7 allies about a possible further Russian invasion.
The UCC delegation, led by UCC National President Alexandra Chyczij, briefed Minister Garneau on the current situation and presented recommendations for actions that Canada and allies should take in support of Ukraine.
“We are grateful to Minister Garneau for the opportunity to discuss the latest developments and Russia’s increasing aggression against Ukraine. Minister Garneau underlined Canada’s unequivocal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and condemned Russia’s recent escalations,” stated Chyczij. “To deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, it is vital that Ukraine’s allies respond strongly and forcefully.”
The UCC presented the following policy recommendations:
Strengthen sectoral sanctions against Russia, including removal of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system and sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt;
Ensure that the Nord Stream II pipeline is not completed. As Russia is currently dependent on Ukrainian pipelines to export its natural gas into the EU, completion of this pipeline will remove a key deterrent to further Russian invasion;
Provide Ukraine with defensive weapons and increase Ukraine’s air and naval defence capacities in the Black Sea and Azov Sea;
Work with NATO allies to increase air and naval presence and patrols in the Black Sea and Azov Sea;
Increase the provision of real-time satellite imagery and intelligence to Ukraine on Russian military movements and possible false flag operations designed to provoke or legitimize an invasion by Russia.