The following letter was sent by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 11.
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
Re: Leaders’ Summit of NATO Allies
On June 14, the leaders of NATO Allies will meet in Brussels to discuss the challenges facing the Alliance, including, first and foremost, Russia’s escalation of aggression.
In recent months, Russia has substantially escalated attacks on the front lines in eastern Ukraine and has engaged in significant Russian troop buildup and materiel movement into Russia-occupied Crimea and the eastern and northern Russia-Ukraine border regions.
Recently, Czech authorities concluded that the 2014 explosion at the arms depot in Vrebtice, Czech Republic, in which two Czech citizens were killed, was carried out by agents of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU). This is an act of state aggression by Russia against a NATO ally, and but one in a long list of attacks against states in the Alliance carried out by Russia.
For years, Russia has waged wars of aggression against Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The Russian government has demonstrated that it seeks neither accommodation nor cooperation with Western democracies. Russia seeks confrontation and hostility. In order to counter the increasing threat to global security by Russia, the NATO alliance must respond resolutely and forcefully.
Since 2014, Ukraine and the Ukrainian people have been the frontline of defense against Russian aggression. At great cost, Ukraine has for seven years defended the democratic values and principles of self-determination and liberty for which the NATO Alliance stands.
The NATO Leaders’ Summit is an important opportunity for allies to reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to buttress this commitment with concrete actions.
Russia’s belligerence is also a direct threat to Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. In April, the U.S. Department of Defense stated that Russia is undertaking “refurbishing of Soviet-era airfields, the expansion of its network of air and coastal defense missile systems and the strengthening of its anti-access and area-denial capabilities” in the Arctic region.
In order to deter Russia’s increasing aggression against NATO and partner countries, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) urges Canada and NATO allies to implement the following policies at the Leaders’ Summit:
1. Accelerate a NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine. Efforts should focus on supporting Ukraine’s reform trajectory, particularly with regard to civilian oversight of security institutions and the fight against corruption;
2. Strengthen sectoral sanctions against Russia, including removal of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system and sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt;
3. Ensure that the Nord Stream 2 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 of Ukraine;
4. Increase Ukraine’s air and naval defense capacities in the Black Sea and Azov Sea and increase NATO air and naval presence and patrols in the Black Sea and Azov Sea;
5. 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;
6. Designate the so-called Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk Peoples’ Republic (LPR) as terrorist organizations and list the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The UCC would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, prime minister, or with representatives of your office to discuss these recommendations. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact UCC CEO Ihor Michalchyshyn at 613-232-8822 or email@example.com.
UCC national president