... the tragedy of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 reminds us all that there is no safety in distant thunder
... we are not, helpless, and yet, the St Louis is still out to sea Interference in Crimea is contrary to the principle of state sovereignty. Support for secessionists in Eastern Ukraine violates the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states. The blockade of Ukrainian shipping lanes, is an act of war. Downing a Ukrainian civilian aircraft, an attack on non-combatants by Russian ally Iran, constitutes a crime against humanity.
All of these acts are war crimes. And, it is high time to constrain President Putin, that is, Russia's direct aggression, and the senseless loss of life that that aggression has wreaked upon Ukraine, and the world community.
The silence of Washington cannot be justification for the silence of Ottawa.
In a democracy, it is the right, and the duty of citizens to set the agenda for governmental action, and not the other way around.
And as such, please read the letter to PM Justin Trudeau below, and click on his email address at the bottom of the letter, and let the Prime Minister know that we stand with the people of Ukraine, and support President Zelensky addressing the Parliament of Canada.
This gives each of us an opportunity to send a message to President Putin and the citizens of the Russian Federation that their flagrant, and horrific disregard for the rule of law and the sanctity of human life will no longer be tolerated.
Please, take a moment and write Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
- Paris Summit -
An important step forward, but no agreement on Crimea, makes the measures called for in the letter to PM Justin Trudeau - below - even more necessary and urgent.
Paris agreement calls for cessation of hostilities and disengaging forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, Putin refused to discuss the fate of the Ukrainian Peninsula, Crimea
Open letter to PM Justin Trudeau
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau PC MP Prime Minister of Canada Ottawa
... why are Canadian troops in Latvia?
Why are Canadian troops in Latvia, German troops in Lithuania and British troops in Estonia?
Canadian troops are in Latvia as part of a NATO mission to deter aggression from Russia.
If, the goal is to deter aggression from Russia, the question becomes:
What is the best way to achieve that objective?
The best way to deter acts of aggression, is to halt current acts of aggression, reverse past acts of aggression, and to undertake measures to prevent future acts of aggression.
As a result of the Paris Summit agreements, the first objective, i.e., bringing current hostilities to an end by the end of 2019, and disengagement of forces by mid-January, may have been achieved. Given the fact that hundreds and hundreds have died in the fighting in the eastern Ukraine, and more than one million people have been internally displaced, this is an important step forward.
The circumstances of Crimea, however, stand in the way of the second objective to deter future aggression, and that is to reverse past acts of aggression.
Therefore, it should aid greatly the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in the ongoing negotiations with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, if a clear and unequivocal message were to be sent to the Russian President, on behalf of the People and the sovereign Government of Canada, calling on Russia, to maintain peace, stability and the harmonious relations among and between nations, to cease and desist all activities in the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine and to withdraw forthwith all Russian troops from Crimea.
Thereby, returning Ukraine to the status quo, internationally-recognized borders, as they existed prior to the Russian incursion into Crimea in 2014, which encouraged ethnic Russians in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine to undertake, by force, and with resources supplied by Russia, the attempted secession of those regions from Ukraine proper.
Further, in aid of the ongoing negotiations, between Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, each of the other members of NATO, other Europe states, and the Commonwealth of Nations ought to be encouraged to do likewise.
And, as Prime Minister of Canada, it should be highly advantageous to encourage the aforementioned sovereign states to join with Canada in this effort.
It is necessary, to safeguard against future aggression that the message to the Russian president should be earnest and from a very wide audience.
If, the people's representatives do not act, the people, the citizens of this great, sovereign and peaceful nation, ought to send a message to Vladimir Putin and the people of the Russian Federation, through the Embassy of Russia in Ottawa and by other means, expressing their resolve for Russia to honor the Paris Summit agreements, calling for the cessation of hostilities in eastern Ukraine. And, stating the resolve of the Canadian people that a withdrawal of Russian troops from Crimea, is a matter the Russian president cannot unilaterally decide not to discuss.
Crimea is part of the discussion.
In addition, a resolution from the Parliament of Canada, expressing the will of the Canadian People and its government is in order.
This is not the first time Canada has been called upon to play an important role in Ukrainian affairs. In 2008, the Government of Canada recognised the Holodomor as an act of Genocide against the Ukrainian people, and established the 4th Saturday of November as National Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Memorial Day.
The Canadian journalist Rhea Clyman dedicated herself to bringing the deliberate nature of the Holodomor to the world's attention.
On the 23rd of November 2019, Canadians commemorated the 86th Anniversary of the Holodomor. The word Holodomor, is a porte-manteau of the Ukrainian words - moryty holodom - which means to inflict death by hunger, starvation, or exhausting work.
During the Holodomor, 1932 - 1933, millions of Ukrainians were murdered systematically by the Soviet regime under Stalin, as stated by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, "... because of the Ukrainian people's aspiration for independence, their desire to maintain their traditions and speak their language."
For the past six years Ukraine has been under relentless and brutal attack, and they need you to act, Mr Prime Minister.
Rest assured, Mr Prime Minister, the people of Canada are well aware that Canadian - Russian relations are outwardly complex. At the same time, although contentious, there is engagement on Arctic issues, there is also the Russian threat of unspecified retaliation against Canada for its passage of the Magnitsky anti-corruption legislation.
Relations further complicated by Canadian - European interactions, as well as, Canada's commitments to NATO.
The Canadian people are also aware of warnings of Russian interference in Canadian elections, and if, Russia was not involved in the Canadian version of Brexit, Wexit, it would be the only such movement on this planet that Russia was not involved in, in some meaningful way.
And naturally, we look forward to the day President Zelensky addresses the Parliament of Canada, and when a Prime Minister of Canada, in a show of solidarity, addresses the Verkhovna Rada, the legislative assembly of Ukraine.
Whereas, the introductory statement identifies Canadian, German and British troops deployed in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, respectively, it is understood that there are four such deployments in that region, which include troops from seven NATO allies. In fact, in Latvia, Italian forces work with their Canadian counterparts to form a deterrent force.
It is clearly not in the best interest of regional security and stability for Ukraine to disintegrate into ethnic and linguistic enclaves, as did the Former Yugoslavia. In that case, the failure to engage in the enforcement of the border agreements resulted in a long and costly conflict. It is perhaps, one of the most significant strategic dilemmas of our age that Ukraine and Georgia, as well as, the Baltic states, should find themselves interlaced within the geopolitical legacy of Russia and Europe. Because of Russia’s perceived need to protect itself from the possibility of being invaded from the West, and Europe’s fear of aggression from the East.
It is high time for Europe and Russia to negotiate a 'no first strike' accord, that is, each shall undertake not to be the first to initiate a strike, an attack against the other, an end to the possibility of conflict. Thereupon, the people of Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltics generally, can determine and be secure in their independence, in their neutrality, and in their chosen alliances. With that said, it my fervent hope, Mr Prime Minister, that you will do all that you can to support Ukraine in negotiations with Russia, and to convey the will of Canadians for a cessation to all hostilities as agreed to at the Paris Summit, and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Crimea. The Russian Naval base in Crimea must become a matter of contractual relations between an independent Ukraine and an independent Russia.
Thanking you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of these matters.
I anticipate your response.
It is clearly not in the best interest of regional security and stability for Ukraine to disintegrate into ethnic and linguistic enclaves, as did the Former Yugoslavia.
E LaMont Gregory MSc Oxon
- - - - - -
Note from the author:
The response to this letter to PM Justin Trudeau concerning Ukraine, has been inspiring. Most importantly, it illustrates that people are aware of the circumstances of Ukraine and that they care about Ukrainians. There are 1.4 million Canadians who identify themselves as Ukrainian or of Ukrainian origin, and slightly more than a million members of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, but the response to this letter shows much wider interest.
There is, however, one common theme, and that is that Russian aggression must be kept in check, and Ukraine requires our best efforts in that regard.
The tragedy of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 reminds us all that there is no safety in distant thunder.
This letter to PM Trudeau was first published on the 9th of December 2019, and after a plethora of comments from readers suggesting that there is a positive role for the Prime Minister of Canada to play in support of Ukraine, this author is of the opinion that those comments ought to be sent to PM Justin Trudeau, directly, which can be done by clicking or copying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's email address below.