April 13, 2012 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued the following statement upon learning that Ukraine’s former defence minister Valeriy Ivashchenko was sentenced to five years in prison:
“Canada is concerned that yesterday’s conviction of former acting defence minister Valeriy Ivashchenko may call into further question judicial independence in Ukraine.
“A troubling trend is continuing in Ukraine. Like previous, apparently politically motivated prosecutions, this undermines the institutions upon which a peaceful, prosperous and democratic society depends.
“I reiterate my call for the Ukrainian government to strengthen judicial independence and capacity. Canada will continue to advocate freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for all Ukrainians.”
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