Article – “Ukraine asks Canada for practical help, not just criticism” [embassynews.ca]

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Embassy – Canada’s Foreign Policy Newspaper

http://www.embassynews.ca/news/2013/12/17/ukraine-asks-canada-for-practical-help-not-just-criticism/44989

Published  2013-12-18
Embassy
Ukraine asks Canada for practical help, not just criticism

Ukrainian-Canadian group defends Canada’s long-term support for the country.

DFATD Photo
Foreign Minister John Baird visits Dec. 5 with people camped out in Kyiv to protest against the Ukrainian government’s decision to suspend the signing of a deal to tighten ties with the European Union.

Kristen Shane
Published: Wednesday, 12/18/2013 12:00 am EST

 

Ukraine’s ambassador says he wants practical help from Canada on issues like easing visa restrictions and opening markets—not just criticism.

“[To be] frank, it’s very easy to criticize. You’re just sitting in your chair and saying ‘You’re wrong. Do it better,’” said Vadym Prystaiko in a Dec. 5 interview. “How?”

The Canadian government and a prominent Ukrainian-Canadian community group say Canada is helping Ukraine in practical ways, through development and elections help, for instance. 

It’s a tense time in Ukraine-Canada relations. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development called in Mr. Prystaiko for a dressing-down on Dec. 2, “to express Canada’s strong disapproval of police violence carried out during that wee end against protesters in Kyiv,” wrote DFATD spokesperson Mathieu Roy in a Dec. 17 email.

While in the capital on Dec. 5 for meetings of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Foreign Minister John Baird visited people camped out to protest the Ukrainian government’s Nov. 21 decision to suspend the signing of a deal to tighten ties with the European Union. 

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