Nine Russian soldiers were recently sent back to their homeland after being given 24 hours’ notice by the Harper government.
Since then, all collaboration between the Canadian and Russian military has stopped. We’ve also recalled our ambassador from Moscow for the time being.
There’s a lot happening in this Ukraine crisis, and there is no black and white.
Let’s start with Russia, the bad guys, right? Yes, what President Vladimir Putin is doing in the Ukraine is pretty bad; in fact, it’s probably the worst crisis Europe has seen since the Cold War ended.\
There’s this small issue though; technically Russia hasn’t completely violated any of their agreements with Ukraine.
In 1997 and 2010, agreements were signed which allow Russian ships to be present in Crimean harbours.
The set terms also conveniently allow for the presence of a large Russian military force, complete with artillery ranges and training grounds.
Russia’s been pushing boundaries, but they haven’t stepped across the line.
Putin sees the removal of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as an illegal political uprising, a coup.
He’s in the right, in his eyes. This show of force is Russia flexing its muscles, restoring law and order in the midst of chaos.
Now let’s talk about Canada, Western Europe and the United States, freedom fighters for democracy and equality.
The west (particularly the U.S.), can talk a big game, but talk is cheap.
The U.S. government has “warned” the Russian president of potential consequences for his actions several times, but have yet to follow through with any of their vague threats.
Western European governments are no better. British Prime Minister David Cameron said Russia’s actions are unacceptable, that they will not be tolerated.
However, he hasn’t said what he’s going to do about it. Maybe he’s just keeping his fingers crossed.
Support in spirit is not support.
If the governments of the west feel obligated to threaten a man like Putin, they need some backbone to follow through with it.
A guy like the Russian president sees empty threats as a sign of weakness and then jumps on it.
It’s a shame that nine innocent guys had to pack up and leave the country in 24 hours, but at least a message has been sent that Canada no longer wants to deal with Russia if this is how they’re going to act.
The Harper government does a lot of things wrong, brutally wrong, but at least our country is acting in some way.
We’re not just constantly blowing smoke.