Ottawa-Canada’s Foreign Minister says the threat of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains high as the cyberattack that the Kremlin may pull down its troops undermined previous optimism on Tuesday. ..
“The latest information I have is that the threat is real and imminent,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told the Canadian press on Tuesday. “Everyone takes this on an hourly basis. Things are moving. The situation is very volatile.”
Jolly said Canada and its NATO allies would like to see real evidence that Russia has reduced the deployment of 130,000 powerful troops along the Ukrainian border.
“I even think this could be a disinformation campaign initiated by Russia,” she said.
After meeting with German Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want a war and has peaceful talks with the West to ease the worst crisis with Russia since the Cold War. He said he was aiming to do it.
President Putin said he was ready to discuss limiting the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Europe and other transparency and confidence-building measures.
“We use every method to start diplomatic conversations, but in the meantime Russia needs to show their intentions by deescalating. That’s really, really important,” Jolly said. ..
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stortenberg said in Brussels that there were no signs that Russian troops would fall to the Ukrainian border, but there was still reason to be cautiously optimistic about diplomatic efforts.
Jolly said shortly after the prospect of Russia’s aggression seemed to be softened by Putin’s latest public remarks.
However, a series of cyber attacks subsequently struck Ukrainian government departments and banks, knocking them out offline.
Jolly said he was very concerned about cyberattacks and spoke with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba for more details.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would provide Ukraine with a $ 500 million loan and $ 7.8 million worth of deadly equipment and ammunition. Until then, Canada was reluctant to provide weapons to Ukraine, but Jolly said the risk of invasion was so high that a decision was made to join another country to supply weapons. ..
Canada also closed the embassy in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and Jolly urged the remaining Canadians to leave the country immediately. Canada has moved diplomats to the city of Lviv in western Ukraine.
Jolly said he spoke with Polish, Slovak, Hungarian and Romanian counterparts to ensure safe passage for all Canadian diplomats and their families in the event of further security conditions.
Russia wants to ensure that Ukraine is not allowed to join NATO and that the Kremlin will stop recruiting new member states from Eastern Europe, which it considers to be the old sphere of influence of the former Soviet Union.
But Russia’s request to stop further expansion is not a precursor to its allies, including the United States, NATO, and Canada.
Canada, along with several allies including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany, will be subject to a new package of sanctions imposed on Russia if Russia re-enters Ukraine following the 2014 merger of the Crimean Peninsula. Jolly said he had finished the work.
The sanctions are also structured to be phased out, she said, with the first round and several follow-ups “continuing from day one.”
Jolly also said Nord Stream 2, a profitable Russian gas pipeline project connecting Germany, is being considered as one of the possible retaliatory economic measures against Moscow. .. Approximately 40% of Europe depends on natural gas from Russia, but the Kremlin has cut its supply as a weapon in the past.
Nord Stream 2 is fully built but not yet up and running.
“We know that Europe can be taken over by Russia in terms of Russia’s own energy supply, but in the meantime, as we are talking about, Nord Stream 2 is not working. I also know, “Joly said.
“In that sense, due to the fact that the pipeline is not flowing, Europe now has a very important tool to prevent Russia from further invading Ukraine.”
On Monday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and her G7 counterpart also warned Russia that any military action against Russia would result in sanctions that would have “massive and immediate consequences for the Russian economy.”
It followed the withdrawal of Canadian troops participating in the Ukrainian troops’ NATO training mission on Sunday. Approximately 200 military personnel are on duty in Canada and have previously announced plans to expand and expand their training activities.
The Ministry of Defense did not reveal exactly where in Europe the Canadian delegation was relocated for security reasons, but the move is further evidence of an imminent Russian invasion. Widely seen.
Along Mike Branchfield