Weapons are powerful deterrent to Russia, says ex-Ukraine ambassador – National


Ukraine‘s former ambassador in Canada says weapons are one of the “most powerful” ways to deter Russian aggression against his country.

In an interview with The West Block guest host Erin Sorenson, Andriy Shevchenko said he remains hopeful the Canadian government will send weapons despite its decision last week not to do so.

“We do hope that Canada and our other friends will follow suit and will follow the U.S. and the UK.,” he said. “When it comes to the weapons, it is one of the most powerful signals of deterrence towards Russia, and we do need them now, not when the aggression escalates further.”

Shevchenko said examples of the weapons that Ukraine has received and would like more of, include anti-tank missiles and anti-armour weapons. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin has to “clearly realize the consequences of their moves.”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that Canada will not send weapons to Ukraine, which has been a key request from Ukrainian leaders over recent weeks.

Instead, Canada is extending the military training mission known as Operation Unifier for another three years, as well as boosting intelligence sharing cyber support against Russian cyberattacks, creating a new task force at Global Affairs Canada, and also sharing “non-lethal” equipment.

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Shevchenko said Ukraine is grateful for the mission extension, which he said also sends a “very important” message and is a “very strong signal.”

He added that the request for weapons is not specifically about the number.

“It’s not just about the quantity, but it’s also about about the signal that Canada is sending here to our part of the world,” Shevchenko said.


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Russia has stationed roughly 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s borders and concerns have continued to grow over recent weeks that it plans to mount an invasion over Russian demands that Ukraine be barred from any future membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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The military alliance is built on the principle of collective defence: an attack against one member is an attack against all, and will spark an allied response.

Shevchenko said Putin is “blackmailing the West.”

And while Putin has so far denied plans to invade, Shevchenko warned the situation can change rapidly.

“It seems to be more sort of a psychological warfare as of the moment. It can turn very physical, very brutal and militarily catastrophic in no time, and it is extremely dangerous,” he said.

“It’s something of an existential threat for my country.”

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