Canada Joins NATO Allies in Condemning Russia’s Actions

April 1, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was at NATO headquarters in Brussels today for the Foreign Ministers Meeting and the NATO-Ukraine Commission, where responding to Russia’s recent actions was high on the agenda.

“The Russian Federation’s willingness to use force to redraw the European map demonstrates an assault on the basic principles of state sovereignty and the rule of law,” Baird said. “The unilateral intervention in Crimea is damaging the global security architecture that we have laboured so long to preserve.”

The foreign ministers of NATO issued a joint statement about the situation in Ukraine. “We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine and Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” they said.

The statement announced their decision to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia. They also committed to take measures to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security and to deepen cooperation with other NATO partners in Eastern Europe.

During a session at NATO, Baird said, “One specific response lies with the Open Door Policy: our door must remain visibly and convincingly open to those aspirant countries committed to the Euro-Atlantic path.”

Baird met with his Polish counterpart, Radosław Sikorski, to discuss these issues, among others. Prior to the Foreign Ministers Meeting, Baird visited two of Ukraine’s neighbours, Romania and Moldova, and spoke in Brussels at the International Conference for the Prevention of Genocide.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada