Statement by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress
March 14, 2020. OTTAWA. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) issued the following statement in response to the news that Ukraine plans to enter into direct negotiations with so-called “representatives” of the Russian occupying forces in Donetsk and Luhansk:
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, representing 1.4 million Ukrainian Canadians, is alarmed by the March 13 announcement by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak that Ukraine will officially enter into direct negotiations with Russian proxies.
In six years of war, Russia and its proxies have purposely targeted civilians with artillery and rockets, systematically tortured prisoners of war, and shot down an international airliner, murdering 298 innocent people.
Ukraine’s agreement to create a ‘Consultation Council’ in which so-called ‘representatives’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics are participants in the negotiation is directly contrary to the Ukrainian Parliament’s declaration of the so-called Peoples’ Republics as terrorist organizations and Parliament’s declaration of Russia as the aggressor state.
The UCC joins the Ukrainian World Congress and all patriotic citizens of Ukraine in declaring the Zelenskyy administration’s decision to negotiate with “representatives” of terrorist organizations as unacceptable as this will have the effect of relieving Russia of any responsibility for the war.
The UCC calls on the Government of Canada to continue its leadership among its Euro-Atlantic allies in supporting Ukraine and in compelling Russia to withdraw its armies from occupied Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, including the following:
- Significantly increase sanctions on Russia including banning Russia from the SWIFT international payments system;
- Recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and recognize the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics as terrorist organizations, as has been requested by Ukraine’s Parliament;
- Apply pressure to allies France and Germany to hold Russia accountable, and not facilitate Russia’s attempts to escape responsibility for the war which Russia wages against Ukraine.
To view the documents leaked to the press before Mr. Yermak made his announcement, please see here