[Ed. – Can we just have Stephen Harper?]
Ominous developments in Ukraine have prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to strongly condemn Russian military intervention in the country while urging President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops immediately.
In a statement issued following a cabinet meeting held Saturday afternoon, Harper said Canada is recalling its ambassador from Moscow and pulling out of the G8 process being chaired by Russia.
At the same time, Canada is recognizing the legitimacy of the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government.
“Ukraine’s sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future,” Harper said in his statement. “We call on President Putin to immediately withdraw his forces to their bases and refrain from further provocative and dangerous actions.”
He warns that should Putin push forward with military action, it will lead to “ongoing negative consequences” for Canada-Russia relations. …
Canada will boycott meetings leading up to the G8 summit planned for Sochi later this year, Harper said Saturday. The G8 host changes every year, and 2014 is Russia’s turn. The G8 host normally holds several planning meetings among finance ministers, foreign ministers and other top officials. …
“We will continue to co-operate closely with our G7 partners and other allies. Should President Putin continue on this course of action, it will lead to ongoing negative consequences for our bilateral relationship,” Harper stated.