Ukraine-Russia Deal Is Bad For Canada

OTTAWA, Canada -- The EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine stand for democracy and against the decision by President Viktor Yanukovych to sell Ukraine’s future to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s despotic, expansionistic and backward-looking Russia.

Yanukovych (L) and Putin

The Yanukovych-Putin deal signed on the heels of the turned-down Association Agreement with the European Union is a noose around Ukraine’s neck.

Fifteen billion dollars of the “loan” goes to pay off the existing energy “debt” to Russia.

The high interest payments enlarge it further while the lower energy price is renegotiable every three months.

Worst, there is no requirement to fix Ukraine’s failing governance as the EU’s agreement demanded.

As bad as this is for Ukraine, it spells danger for the West; especially for Canada.

Here’s why.

Above all, the deal advances the idea of Russian world empire.

To this end, it strangles Ukraine’s sovereignty by, among other things, integrating the military establishment with its own and acquiring a further foothold on the Kerch peninsula.

Like Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia, occupied by Russia in 2008, Kerch is a prized piece of geography.

It provides Russia with greater access to the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and beyond.

The deal is a de facto replay of the 1939 Russian invasion of Western Ukraine, then under Poland.

So far, only the tanks are missing.

Also, the deal allocates $4 billion to rejuvenating Ukraine’s shipbuilding industry.

Alarms should be ringing on Parliament Hill.

Russia makes no secret of coveting Canada’s Arctic waters.

In the former USSR, Ukraine ranked among the world’s top five shipbuilders.

Besides oil tankers — Russia claims to be ordering these — the shipyards around Kerch manufacture defence vessels: the world’s largest aircraft carrier; anti-nuclear research explorers capable of unprecedented depths; and the world’s best icebreakers.

At one time, Port Churchill in Manitoba showed an interest in them.

As global implications of the deal become clearer, the EuroMaidan is raging against Ukraine’s lost future while atrocities against protesters grow.

The regime is fighting EuroMaidan with dirty propaganda, provocations, beatings and false arrests.

More than 100 leaders and journalists have been hospitalized since the November stand for democracy began.

The regime’s tactics recall the peaceful Hungarian and Czechoslovak revolutions that turned bloody when Soviet tanks rolled in.

Then the fifth-column apologists rose to defend Kremlin’s brutalities and its “rights” to control its near abroad.

The free world failed to help.

Russia enslaved the sovereign states and used the Cold War to plant dictatorships around the world.

Canada and other democracies must not repeat this mistake.

They must support democrats who stand for their right to a free and just country, not a regime that is bringing one of the richest natural resource countries in Europe to the brink of economic ruin while its leaders join the ranks of the world’s richest billionaires.

Established democracies must help an emerging one, whose citizens want nothing more but to live more like we do.

Otherwise the democracies are the losers.

To its credit, on Christmas Day, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine visited the badly beaten and hospitalized EuroMaidan leader and journalist Tetyana Chornovil.

Other ambassadors did likewise, demonstrating support for EuroMaidan and condemning the regime.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned President Yanukovych of “serious consequences” for abandoning the rule of law.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said, “Canada stands with the Ukrainian people … and will continue to forcefully oppose all efforts to repress their rights and freedoms.”

Individual Canadians and NGOs are helping by supporting the freedom fighters financially and mounting coast-to-coast echo-demonstrations.

For this, the diaspora is pilloried here and in Ukraine: Toronto’s political science professor Taras Kuzio was denied entry for criticizing the regime.

Clearly more is needed: When state leaders are the terrorists, other countries cannot just offer words.

The International Standards for Combatting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation, signed by Canada, Ukraine and Russia, is tasked with ensuring that “politically exposed persons, PEPs” and their immediate families are not profiteering from public office.

The EuroMaidan has lists of Ukraine’s PEPs doing just that.

When it suited the United States, it arrested and imprisoned Pavlo Lazarenko for money laundering as he set foot in the United States.

Yet, the outlandish wealth of the ruling PEPs is ignored by democracies as they travel the world’s money havens to sequester their ill-gotten wealth and play.

Canada can and must act against abusers.

EuroMaidan calls for this; Canada’s sovereignty demands this.

So does global security.

As the saying goes, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Let’s act.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen


Igor Skakovsky said…
This article do not represent realities in Ukraine. It's is exaggerating governments action, accusing leaders of Ukraine and Russia of things that they have not done or plan to do. Where the writer of this article have being together with Canadian help? on November 20-21st of 2013. In USSR we used to say "Do not teach us how to leave but, rather help us financially".
Now, if any one would listen and act on this article, it will do more harm and damage to Ukrainian people and its country.
If any one wont to help, please organize financial package for Ukraine which will be conditioned to a EU AA signature whether for upcoming session in March 2014 or for the next coming. Such package should not be smaller than USD15billion. It must be included in AA package it self. In such case Ukraine will gladly sign the AA agreement and become fully integrated. So, stop creating more difficulties for Ukraine at this time and continue support implementations of the EU conditions the most of which already has being ratified by Ukrainian parliament.
Happy New Year to every one!
Dmytro said…
It's funny to read such comments from people who still thinks in terms of USSR. He is using it with all seriousness, even without "ex-" prefix, and not using some of the funny terms designed by Russians such as CIS, Eurasia or Slav peoples.

And even funnier that his translation of Russian proverb is absolutely Freudian. Original Russian phrase correctly translated to English is "Do not teach us how to live...", not "to leave"

No, Igor, I personally, and pretty sure most of Ukrainians will agree with the Ottawa Citizen article and disagree with your cries for "financial help". You are failing to understand that Ukrainians there on the Maidan are not for sale. They will not follow highest paying bidder, being it EU or Russia or US. People of Ukraine have chosen freedom and dignity of Europe and do not want concentration camps of renewed USSR.

The real help from countries like Canada, US and the likes is in pressure on Ukrainian elite: denying their visa and blocking their access to foreign bank accounts where they keep stolen Ukrainian money. I am pretty sure, these accounts will total in amount not much smaller or even larger than offered by Russia USD 15 billion.

Sure, Igor, you understand another term we've used in ex-USSR and still use in Ukraine and among Ukrainians: "sovok". So stop being the one, or otherwise learn "how to leave".
Igor Skakovsky said…
Yes Dmytro, I have used wrong word, you are correct it is "to live" not "to leave".
I completely support Ukrainian future with Europe, and understand the meaning of freedom and dignity also, in no way I advocate for any form of former-Soviet Union. Simply I can not imaging Ukraine without Industries such as Aircraft building,shipbuilding, nuclear research and agriculture.
The best example of total distraction of local economy is Bulgaria. Local businesses was not given proper support and thousands of small businesses are closed resulting in unemployment. Local products almost do not exist any more. It came to total absurd these days, dairy products with world famous "Bulgaricus bactericus" are no more; local vegetables no more; markets are full of European products only. Freedom and dignity should not have a trade off for no local economy.