The Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed that PM Stephen Harper will be making an official visit to the crisis-stricken Ukraine next week in order to extend his support for the interim government in the midst of its unfolding predicament with Russia. While announcing the news of the trip on Friday, Harper alleged that “Canada remains united with its allies in recognizing the government of Ukraine, and in supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
PM Harper is also scheduled to have a meeting with Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in Kyiv on March 22, i.e. few days after a Russian-supported referendum is planned to decide whether two million people in Crimea wish to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. Canada, the U.S., along with all other prominent western countries, have threatened to impose sanctions against Russia if Russian President, Vladimir Putin, allows the Crimean referendum. In addition to that, all countries in the West have straightforwardly condemned the referendum as an illegitimate violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.
By announcing his trip, Harper has become the first leader of a G7 country to visit Ukraine during the current unrest there. In a press conference held on Friday, Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird, was inquired if Harper will play a productive role in the impasse in Ukraine, and he replied that even though “we have been unsuccessful to date at finding a diplomatic solution, a political solution, to this issue. I think it is nonetheless tremendously important that we give every effort in that regard.”
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