The Government of Canada’s response to the situation in Ukraine

Ottawa, Ontario
17 March 2014

The Government of Canada is taking important steps to support Ukraine and to impose sanctions against those responsible for the ongoing crisis.

January 26, 2014

Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, led a successful visit to Ukraine, during which he expressed Canada’s ongoing concern about violations of basic freedoms and reinforced Canada’s commitment to the Ukrainian people.

February 14, 2014

John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced funding to provide supplies, equipment and medical care for Ukrainian activists through a contribution to the International Renaissance Foundation, a Ukrainian non-governmental organization.

February 28, 2014

Minister Baird led a successful mission to Ukraine, where he and the Canadian delegation of parliamentarians and representatives of the Ukrainian-Canadian community met with key members of the new government.

March 1, 2014

In response to the very serious developments in Ukraine, Prime Minister Harper convened a meeting of Cabinet Ministers, preceded by a bilateral phone call with President Obama.

In a statement, the Prime Minister announced:

    • Canada suspended its engagement in preparation for the G-8 Summit, currently planned for Sochi, and that the Canadian Ambassador in Russia is being recalled for consultations;
    • Canada’s support for the immediate deployment of international monitors from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to Ukraine; and,
    • Canada’s engagement in discussions aimed at developing a financial aid package for Ukraine.

March 2, 2014

Canada and other G-7 leaders issued a joint statement condemning the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In addition, they announced that they will “suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.”

March 3, 2014

Prime Minister Harper issued a statement calling once again on President Putin to immediately withdraw his military from Crimea, adding that the situation in Ukraine remains extremely serious for global peace and security.

He further added that in addition to suspending Canada’s engagement in preparations for the G-8 Summit and recalling our Ambassador to Russia, he has cancelled any government representation at the Paralympic Games and instructed officials to review all planned bilateral interaction with Russia.

Prime Minister Harper spoke with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine. The two leaders discussed developments in Crimea and other regions in the south and east of Ukraine.  Prime Minister Harper condemned in the strongest terms President Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine. 

March 4, 2014

Prime Minister Harper announced that, effective immediately, all planned bilateral activities between the Canadian Armed Forces and the military of the Russian Federation are suspended. This includes exercises, such as NORAD’s Exercise Vigilant Eagle, and scheduled meetings.

March 5, 2014

Prime Minister Harper announced that, at the request of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Canada will freeze the assets of members of the Yanukovych regime. As a result, 18 people, including members of the former Yanukovych regime, members of their families and their close associates, were listed in regulations under the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Ukraine).

Canada suspended its participation in the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (IEC), established to promote economic relations between Canada and Russia.

Prime Minister Harper announced that at Ukraine’s request, Canada, along with a number of other member countries of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will participate in an important military observer mission that will report on military activities in Ukraine. Canada contributed two military observers.

March 6, 2014

Prime Minister Harper issued a statement saying that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an act of aggression, a clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and of international law. He further added that Canada will not recognize a referendum held in a region currently under illegal military occupation.

March 12, 2014

G-7 leaders issued a statement calling on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law. They call on the Russian Federation to immediately halt actions supporting a referendum on the territory of Crimea regarding its status, in direct violation of the Constitution of Ukraine.

March 13, 2014

Prime Minister Harper announced more than $220 million in support to help Ukraine stabilize its economy, and promote economic and social development.  

March 16, 2014

Prime Minister Harper issued a statement on the results of the Crimean “referendum”, reiterating that this “referendum” is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and that Canada does not recognize its outcome.

March 17, 2014

Prime Minister Harper announced further economic sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act against Crimean and Russian officials.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also met with Vadym Prystaiko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, to discuss the ongoing situation.