Canada boycotts Arctic Council meetings in Moscow to protest Russian moves in Ukraine
Canadian government condemns "illegal occupation" in Ukraine
To protest Russia’s involvement in the escalating crisis in Ukraine, Canadian delegates will not attend Arctic Council working group meetings scheduled in Moscow this week.
“These actions build upon the tough stance, including imposing sanctions, Canada has already taken against Russia for its illegal occupation of Ukraine,” said a statement from the foreign affairs department issued April 15.
Separatist pro-Russian militia forces exchanged gunfire with Ukrainian forces at the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk and Ukrainian forces loyal to Ukraine’s new government have begun an “anti-terrorist” operation near the town of Slaviansk, the Reuters news agency reported April 15.
Pro-Russian incursions in eastern Ukraine, widely condemned in the West following the recent takeover of Crimea by pro-Russian forces, have sparked fears that a civil war may break out in Ukraine.
It’s not clear if other Arctic Council member states, such as Finland, Sweden, the United States or Norway, will also boycott this week’s Arctic Council working group meetings.
“Canada is proud to show leadership on the world stage through its chairmanship of the Arctic Council. As a result of Russia’s illegal occupation of Ukraine and its continued provocative actions in Crimea and elsewhere, Canada did not attend working-group-level meetings in Moscow this week,” Leona Aglukkaq, the minister responsible for Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council, said in a statement.