Canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

Canada, Russia And Ukraine: Building A New Relationship

canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

Russia's annexation of Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine unified Revise the NATO-Russia Founding Act, or scrap it and present new options. in to double NATO's rapid reaction force, create an even faster Very High and Canada (Latvia).5 None is based permanently in these countries. Russia's aggression against Ukraine is not an isolated phenomenon. Since the collapse that will build capacity and increase the effectiveness of Ukraine's political parties, Canada and Ukraine share a special relationship based on years of Ukrainian New presidential elections were held in May. The bilateral relationship between Russia and Ukraine formally started in the s .. Later after new treaties came into effect, Ukraine's gas debt arrears to Russia the Russian Government participated in financing the construction of the .. Montenegro, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New.

Up to percent of annually consumed gas and close to 80 percent of oil came from Russia. On the export side, too, dependence was significant. Old buyers gone byUkraine had experienced a percent drop in production of industrial machines with digital control systems, television sets, tape recorders, excavators, cars and trucks.

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Although disputes prior to the Ukrainian presidential election, were present including the speculations regarding accidental shooting down of a Russian airliner by the Ukrainian military and the controversy with the Tuzla Islandrelations with Russia under the latter years of Leonid Kuchma improved.

Inthe Russian Government participated in financing the construction of the Khmelnytsky and the Rivne nuclear power plants.

canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

The overall perception of relations with Russia in Ukraine differs largely on regional factors. Many Russophone eastern and southern regions, which are also home to the majority of the Russian diaspora in Ukraine welcome closer relations with Russia. Russian President Putin 24 December [61] In Russia, there is no regional breakdown in the opinion of Ukraine, [62] but on the whole, Ukraine's recent attempts to join the EU and NATO were seen as change of course to only a pro-Western, anti-Russian orientation of Ukraine and thus a sign of hostility and this resulted in a drop of Ukraine's perception in Russia [63] although President of Ukraine Yushchenko reassured Russia that joining NATO was not meant as an anti-Russian act, [64] and Putin said that Russia would welcome Ukraine's membership in the EU [65].

This was further fuelled by the public discussion in Ukraine of whether the Russian language should be given official status [66] and be made the second state language. Ukraine denied the accusation. There is already an Honorary Consulship in Vladivostok that has been quite effective at minimum cost.

Vladivostok is the natural gateway to Pacific and Far Eastern Russia and is connected by direct air transport to the Pacific Northwest. Even if hard-working, the Honorary Consulate is limited in its scope of operations e.

Despite being almost contiguous, Western Canadians and Eastern Russians must rely on government services provided from Moscow, which is ten time zones removed. The Committee is in agreement with suggestions to raise the Canadian trade representation in the regions of Russia, especially in Pacific Russia, and thus recommends: That Canada broaden its regional diplomatic representation in Russia through the establishment of additional consulates. In particular there should be an upgrade of the consulate in Vladivostok to full consulate status, through which the economic and other interests of Canadians operating in Pacific and Far Eastern Russia can be supported.

Finally, the Committee heard a number of other potential recommendations for Canadian action. These are listed as follows, with the sponsoring witness identified in brackets: These are all valid suggestions, most of which are being considered or acted on, or are incorporated in previous recommendations within this report. One important supplement to this list is the valuable role played by business organizations and business-to-business contacts.

The value of organizations such as the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce was impressed upon the Committee while it was in Washington.

Recognizing that business development between Russia and Canada needs eventually to move from the government toward industry, the Committee recommends: That the Government of Canada encourage Canadian and Canada-Russia business-to-business organizations to develop into effective, visible and active vehicles for business promotion.

Furthermore, in conjunction with the sentiments expressed in Recommendation 3 on educationthe Government of Canada should promote the twinning of business schools between Canada and Russia. Security Issues Three security issues of prominence were raised during Committee hearings: Canadian involvement in the BMD is critical to American defence planning.

In essence, the federal government remains open to seeing what the Americans will propose and will assess such a proposal on its merits. Nonetheless, Canada is a key supporter of multilateralism and of the international treaty systems that provide a framework for the control of the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons. For Russia, appeals to Canada for an understanding of the Russian position on the ABM treaty and other issues also represents an appeal to the many other countries with which Canada is engaged.

On Chechnya, as elsewhere in the world, Canadian policy is to balance a respect for the sovereign and internal affairs of other countries with the need to affirm universal values of human dignity and security. Larry Black and Sergei Plekhanov both stressed the need to be forcefully engaged with Russia over its foreign and domestic policy activities. Russian security and stability has an intrinsic value. However, as with any country, Russia must strike a balance between its security needs and the rights of the people within its borders.

canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

Canada has the potential to play a role in encouraging Russia to arrive at and maintain such a balance, and therefore assist in incorporating Russia into a partnership of democracies. Northern Development Northern issues are familiar ground in Russia-Canadian relations. We share a common arctic and a common geography, and Canada and Russia have a long record of co-operation in international, multilateral and bilateral regimes and initiatives.

Although Russian and Canadian positions on issues ranging from indigenous peoples to environmental concerns to questions of custodianship of a special place in the globe are well known, the profile of Arctic and northern issues is an issue for which awareness needs to be generated and sustained. It is worth noting that Larry Black informed the Committee of an alternate future, nipped in the bud many years ago. The potential for such an effective partnership of the North remains.

Therefore the Committee recommends that: The Government of Canada take measures to assign a higher priority to, and elevate the public profile of, northern development issues that are of common interest to Russia and Canada.

Vladimir Popov suggested that an additional two immigration officers be located in the Canadian embassy in Moscow for this purpose. Several witnesses also commented that the issuing and processing of visas constituted a hindrance to investment and business dealings with their Russian counterparts.

The Committee has heard that in the wake of the Winter Team Canada visit to Russia the federal government has taken steps e. The Committee is also cognizant of the difficulties surrounding international travel and movements of peoples in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Centre and the associated challenges facing the federal government.

However, in light of the importance of the issue of visas and immigration, the Committee recommends: That the Government of Canada ensure that necessary steps and procedures be taken to establish an effective capacity in Russia to process expeditiously immigration and visa demands. Ukraine is for the first time a state as well as a nation.

Ukraine was the agricultural powerhouse and an industrial basin for the Russian and Soviet economies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the unravelling of the intense and highly integrated infrastructure, institutions, and political systems that existed in Russia and Ukraine leaves a number of key questions to consider. How will Ukraine fit into a broader Europe? How will Russia relate to Ukraine or how will it influence Ukraine? These are all important questions for this Committee to ponder as it assesses Ukraine and the Ukrainian-Canadian relationship.

The Committee recognizes that there are no real precedents for transitions such as those being made by Ukraine and other countries from former Soviet rule. Transition does not equate readily with accepted strategies of development or adjustment. As Orest Subtelny reminded the Committee, Ukraine is already a modernized country; it has just modernized in a different manner.

Ukraine is learning how to deal with transition and Canada is learning to respond and help as both go forward. Ukraine also continues to occupy a key geopolitical position, situated as it is between Russia and its European neighbours. Finally, Ukraine has close family ties with Canada.

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The place within Canada of over one million Ukrainian-Canadians provides ample justification for any discussion of this region to rightfully include Ukraine. The Committee heard testimony on two important areas of Ukrainian domestic politics: Culture, History and Citizenship The Committee heard testimony that a core concern for the new Ukrainian state was nation building.

Not only is Ukraine engaging in economic and political transition, but it is also building a nation-state for the first time. Ukrainian identity has existed for centuries, but post-soviet Ukraine represents a first statehood for Ukraine as a modern, industrial state. For most of its recent history, Ukraine had been divided between Poland then Austria-Hungary and Russia, with the Dnieper River forming the line between eastern and southern Ukraine and western Ukraine.

As Paul Magosci informed the Committee, there were Ukrainian members of parliament in the Austro-Hungarian legislature, and there were Ukrainian schools and university departments. All of these promoted Ukrainian nationalism in a 19th—century, liberal mould. The industrial development of eastern and southern Ukraine in the 19th and 20th centuries also meant the migration of a large Russian population to this area. Soviet Premier Khrushchev added a final complexity to the Ukrainian jigsaw.

Bohdan Klid commented that in comparison with other post-Soviet states, Ukraine has managed excellently with regard to ethnic and regional tensions.

What of a Future Canada-Russia Relationship?

Moreover, as David Marples and Bohdan Harsymiv told the Committee, tensions between east and west, between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, have to all intents and purposes not arrived. Ethnic Russians in Ukraine identify themselves as Ukrainian citizens. Magosci, this is in part because they are indigenous to the region and have been so for at least a hundred years. Crimea, while causing some issues regarding disposition of the Black Sea fleet as well as demands for some form of autonomy, has played out as a regional issue, not an ethnic one.

The Current Political Situation Ukraine, as more than one witness noted, is undergoing a difficult triple-transition. Prior to it had no significant history as an independent state. It is currently engaged in state—building at the same time as it is undergoing post-Soviet economic and political reforms. Most institutions did not initially have in the procedures or wherewithal to function effectively.

According to James Jacuta Director of Ukrainian Studies, Canadian Institute of Canadian Studies, University of Albertaprecedence, practice and procedure were absent when the newly independent legislatures sat down for the first time.

Despite his optimism for Ukraine, Mr. Subtelny stated that members of the new elite used their position in the previous regime to privatize Ukraine to their advantage. The Ukrainian state is therefore viewed by some Ukrainians not as a mechanism for serving society but as a tool for this elite to jump from one ship to another. The Committee is concerned about political developments in Ukraine: That being said, the Committee also heard testimony on the lively and positive nature of Ukrainian civil society.

Testimony was given on the actions of many ordinary Ukrainians to further democracy and development, and the desire of most in Ukraine to move towards a normalized liberal democracy.

According to some witnesses, the basis exists in Ukraine for the development of a proper, grass roots democracy based on a middle class with its own set of interests and the desire to hold the government accountable for its actions.

Ukraine, sincehas been in a state of political flux and economic uncertainty. While some witnesses expressed that opportunities do exist for Canadian business in Ukraine, others did not foresee doing much business there at the present time. The complexity of Ukrainian politics cannot be overestimated. The parliament — the Verkhovna Rada — is split by economic, ideological, and regional cleavages. The Committee was informed that President Kuchma has attempted a delicate balance between orienting Ukraine to the West without alienating Russia, and towards reforming the economy without alienating the key energy and heavy industry sectors on which his political base is founded.

Political party development remains with much to be done, and some politicians and bureaucrats have been implicated in behaviours ranging from conflict of interest to cronyism, bribery, corruption, and organized crime. In testimony and in some media in Ukraine and elsewhere, reference has been made to organized crime and corruption going to the highest levels of politics in Ukraine.

Furthermore, as Peter Solomon pointed out, Ukraine is well behind Russia in the reform of the legal system and development of its laws. However, differences between the President and Cabinet members have appeared, with the former deflecting attempts to reform the energy and heavy industry sectors located in Dnipropetrovsk, his political base.

However, a political crisis began with a controversial referendum in Aprilwhich gave the President powers to dissolve the Parliament.

It was not ratified by the legislature. Prime Minister Yushchenko was removed by a new coalition formed between the Communists and those supported by the oligarchs. Neither political group wants eastern Ukraine reformed, albeit for different reasons. There has been increasing control of the state over the media, including harassment of editors, the closure of opposition newspapers and persecution of individuals who have spoken out against the government.

President Kuchma and the government found themselves under scrutiny and attack as a result of the disappearance and probable murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgi [87] Gongadze in September There are a few possible inferences from the last two years of Ukrainian politics. It might also create issues for Western foreign investment and economic development projects through the increased presence of Russian investment.

On the other hand, it also seems to indicate no desire for Ukraine to return to a state-controlled economy. Furthermore, the centre-right coalition has been energized by the Gongadze affair and by political support in the streets. The coalition was a temporary negative one, according to David Marples. Second, one should note there still remains some effective power in the Verhovna Rada.

As David Marples informed the Committee, it is doubtful whether any other post-Soviet legislature, excluding the Baltic States, could have removed the Prime Minister.

canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

The balance between Rada and Presidency remains intact. With oligarchs holding the upper hand, their interests in dealing with their Russian counterparts seem strong.

canada russia and ukraine building a new relationship

March Elections to the Verkhovna Rada Over the course of this study, testimony on the state of democracy in Ukraine has concerned the Committee. The latest round of parliamentary elections was overshadowed by the continuation of a difficult presidential—parliamentary relationship. The election was closely watched by outside observers, since the previous parliamentary and presidential elections and respectively fell short of OSCE standards and international commitments.

The Rada and the President agreed to a new electoral law in October after considerable wrangling and the deployment of five presidential vetoes. A key component of the law was the creation of District constituency-level and Polling Station Election Commissions, including proportional distribution of leadership positions to participating parties. Each scrutineer will have their own party interest, but each will also be watching everybody else.

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Unfortunately, problems did affect the elections. A bilateral parliamentary council on practices in federalism, featuring legislators from the different levels of government in both countries, could allow the Canadian and Russian political classes to learn from each other.

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This learning and dialogue could be supplemented by formalized exchange programmes between civil servants, academics and policy experts on federalism, governance and regional development. This preference for formalism may surprise many Canadian observers. A dearth of such formal institutional ties across the Moscow-Brussels-Kiev axis was, in part, what led to the central misunderstandings that helped to produce the Ukraine crisis in Of course, such ties do not guarantee solutions, but they do create more entrenched processes, and Russian foreign policy, ranging from the Iran nuclear deal to its de-escalation efforts in the Syrian conflict in tandem with Jerusalem, Tehran and Ankara, regularly demonstrates that Moscow deals most comfortably in procedural terms even if it has significant capacity, through the office of the president, to move and even scale up with great administrative speed when circumstances require it.

Beyond cooperation on domestic policy, which could even include working together to strengthen indigenous communities and develop a Canada-Russia-led global agenda for the growing international refugee challenge — something that would bring with it the added benefit of helping Russia to arrest its demographic decline, while giving Canada bona fide global term-setting status on a critical international file — there also exists a strong rationale for dialogue between Ottawa and Moscow in the realm of pure foreign policy.

Contrary to popular and even official belief, Canada and Russia share several important similarities when it comes to their respective positions in contemporary global affairs — great enough to warrant the establishment of serious fora for regular exchanges on international strategy between Canadian and Russian parliamentarians, diplomats, academics and university students.

First, the geographic and strategic positions of both countries on their respective continents is identical. Canada sits at the northern end of the Americas. It secured its southern flank by stabilizing its political relationship and integrating its economy with that of the US, thus leaving it largely free to pursue economic ties with other countries free of geopolitical considerations at the existential level.

Such stability in North America has not always been a given over the course of modern history. In other words, Russia has begun to create interstitial tendons with the Asian blocs.

Its westward and northward tendons still have to be built. Second, Canada and Russia share an interest in avoiding the emergence of a logic of bipolar confrontation between the US and China in the Asia-Pacific region. Ottawa, for its part, seeks to diversify its trading relationships and to maintain a rules-based order in the region, but does not, in principle, wish to see either of these subjected to restrictions imposed by Sino-American great-power rivalry.

Finally, Russia and, to a growing extent, Canada are both interested in pursuing multi-vector foreign policies. Canada, whose first instinct should be to use its neighbour to the south as a power multiplier, is now deepening ties with the EU and — to a far lesser extent — China on issues ranging from climate change to trade while the US has, perhaps temporarily, locked itself into largely inward-looking policy debates.