Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Will Visit Ukraine

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Will Visit Ukraine

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper made plans to visit Ukraine on March 22 to meet with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and discuss the situation between Ukraine and Russia. Harper wants to know how Canada can help.

“Canada remains united with its allies in recognizing the Government of Ukraine, and in supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Mr. Harper, who first announced his trip on Twitter. “We will continue to work with our allies to support efforts to restore the country to stability and unity so that the people of Ukraine can thrive and prosper free of intimidation and threat.”

Harper will be the first G7 leader to visit Ukraine since its parliament deposed Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych. Yatsenyuk visited Washington, D.C., and met with President Obama at the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry.

On March 12, G7 leaders warned Russia not to annex Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine. The peninsula is holding a referendum on March 16 to decide whether to stay with Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. The G7 said they would not recognize the vote, whereas Russia said it would respect the wishes of the Crimeans. The G7 also reminded Russia the annexation would violate many international laws.

If Russia does not stop violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, the G7 leaders threatened to boycott the G8 summit in Sochi, Russia, in June. Harper already pulled out of the G8 summit and recalled Canada’s ambassador to Russia. President Obama told Putin the US will boycott the summit, while the UK and France halted all preparatory meetings.