Canada Takes Russian Threat to Ukraine “Very Seriously” Says New Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly – .

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Canada Takes Russian Threat to Ukraine “Very Seriously” Says New Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly – .


Joly pledged that Canada will work with “like-minded” countries to apply “diplomatic” and “economic” pressure as well as “all necessary means” to deter the “Russian threat”

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OTTAWA – Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly has said that Vladimir Putin’s “heightened rhetoric” is escalating tensions in Ukraine and creating a risk of “miscalculation” as Russia warns of a possible war in Europe. ballast.

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“We take this threat very seriously,” Joly said in an interview.

Joly says she spoke briefly with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to express concerns about his country’s recent actions and that “any form” of military build-up on the Ukrainian border is “bad.” idea “.

For his part, Lavrov warned that the “nightmarish scenario of military confrontation returns to the European continent”.

On the same day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss Russian military activity as well as “ongoing aggression and destabilization activities” in and around Ukraine, according to a Canadian government reading.

The Prime Minister also reaffirmed Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and its commitment to resist increased Russian aggression, according to the reading.

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We will use all possible tools to ensure that we deter Russia from moving forward

Russia has embarked on a large-scale troop build-up along the Ukrainian border, raising fears that the Russian president is planning an invasion.

Russia has accused Ukraine of attempting to sabotage peace agreements aimed at ending the conflict in the eastern Donbass region between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels, which claimed the lives of more than 13 000 people in seven years.

Lavrov also warned that NATO is “irresponsibly” approaching Russia and that missile defense systems have been deployed in Romania and Poland.

He accused NATO of “inflating the Ukrainian army”.

In a speech Thursday morning at a ministerial council meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Joly said: and risk of miscalculations.

In a later interview, Joly said that when political tensions are high, mistakes can be made that can have fatal consequences.

“The fact that the tensions are high, obviously we are all human beings, and we wouldn’t want any harm done,” Joly said in a telephone interview from Sweden. “We have 200 troops in Ukraine and we know that Russia is strengthening its capabilities at the border. “

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On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a Russian invasion of Ukraine would lead his country to impose new “high impact” sanctions against Moscow.

“We don’t know if President Putin made the decision to invade,” Blinken said in Latvia after meeting with his NATO counterparts. “We know he is building the capacity to do it as quickly as possible if he so chooses. “

In the interview, Joly wouldn’t go so far as to echo Blinken’s threats, but pledged that Canada would work with “like-minded” countries to exert “diplomatic” and “economic” pressure as well as ” all necessary means “to deter the” Russian threat “.

She also said that Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and members of the European Union are all in “planning mode” for the eventuality of Russia invading its neighbor to the west.

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“We will use all possible tools to make sure we deter Russia from moving forward,” Joly said.

Russia is not the only country in Eastern Europe that concerns Canada.

In his speech to the OSCE on Thursday, Joly also denounced the “catastrophic” situation in Belarus in which the regime of Alexander Lukashenko uses the “despicable” tactic of “orchestrating irregular migration” to promote its political interests and hijack it. attention to human rights violations at the national level.

“We will continue to urge Belarus to end this horrific practice, release political prisoners, engage in serious dialogue with opposition leaders and civil society, and let the independent media do their job of public information, ”she said.

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“It is the least that a responsible government can do.

On the same day, allies of Canada, the United States and the EU also imposed sanctions against 24 people and seven entities in Belarus close to the Lukashenko regime.

“In August 2020, following the fraudulent presidential election in Belarus, public protests were brutally suppressed by Belarusian government security forces. The demonstrators were subjected to prolonged arbitrary detention, brutality, intimidation and excessive use of force, ”the Canadian government said in a statement.

Canada first imposed sanctions on Belarus last August, but the situation has not improved since, prompting the federal government and its allies to impose the new round of sanctions.

“Arbitrary arrests continue and there are undue restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and freedom of association,” the government said.

– With additional reporting from The Telegraph

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