Canada Posturing Towards Sanctions on Ukraine
In response to Ukraine’s controversial economic and political behavior in past months, Canada has not ruled out economic sanctions. At the Ukrainian Consulate on Sunday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told the audience, “We will, together with our friends, our allies, our partners around the world, consider all the options that are in front of us.”
Ukraine declined a political and trade deal with the European Union in favor of a financial aid package from Russia, which would include US$15 billion in loans and a discount on natural gas. The Ukraine-Canada relationship became strained in December when Foreign Minister John Baird expressed “deep disappointment” with the Ukrainian government, in its decision regarding the European Union and its “violent crackdown” on protestors demanding Ukrainian participation in the regional alliance.
Ukraine has made it illegal to wear masks, use loudspeakers, and set up tents at rallies. Offenders are subject to a penalty of 15 days in jail or heavy fines. Nearly 200,000 demonstrators congregated in Kiev Square on Sunday, and some of the protestors have remained in the Square for nearly two months.