Canada’s Prime Minister on Crimea

From the Prime Minister of Canada’s website:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the so-called Crimean “referendum” held one year ago and the subsequent illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia:

“A year ago this week, the so-called Crimean ‘referendum’ was held under the Putin regime’s influence to legitimize the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia two days later.

“Whether it takes five months or 50 years, Canada will never recognize this annexation as being the genuine will of the Ukrainian people. We have instead maintained our call that the Putin regime cease the destabilization campaign it has orchestrated and fully withdraw from Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

“Toward this objective, Canada and its partners have imposed a broad range of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities, including targeted sanctions on Russia’s finance, defence and energy sectors and key officials involved in the illegal annexation of Crimea.

“Furthermore, in support of NATO measures in response to Russian aggression, Canada has played a leading role in deploying air, land and maritime forces in the area to promote security and stability in Eastern and Central Europe, as part of the Alliance’s Assurance Measures. It is also contributing to the NATO Trust Funds for Ukraine, as well as to each of the three NATO Centres of Excellence in the Baltic States, which play a key role in enabling the Alliance to better address regional security challenges related to strategic communications, energy security and cyber defence.

“In addition, our Government has taken a number of other steps to help the Ukrainian people as they work to restore political and economic stability, most notably through electoral assistance, support for economic and social development, and providing military training and non-lethal equipment to the Ukrainian government.

“Canada will not forget Vladimir Putin’s reckless actions in Ukraine. Any solution to the current crisis will need to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and Constitution of Ukraine.

“The people of Ukraine are showing tremendous resilience and courage in the face of aggression. Canada will continue to support the Ukrainian people’s fight for freedom and democracy for as long as it takes.”


Since the annexation of Crimea, the Canadian Forces has deployed multiple CF-18 fighter aircrafts, warships and soldiers in Eastern Europe. Canada has also imposed many economic sanctions on individuals–including Russian President Vladimir Putin–and not on the directly on the Russian government.

The Canadian Army is currently deploying infantry soldiers–including combat engineers, artilleryman and support soldiers–on a 6 months rotation basis to Poland. They take part in multinational exercises and are deployed to reassure NATO allies in the region.

Canadian soldiers taking part in Operation Reassurance in Poland
Canadian soldiers taking part in Operation Reassurance in Poland

The Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s have been patrolling the allied airspaces alongside other NATO aircrafts against Russian incursions.

The Royal Canadian Navy has deployed a frigate–currently the HMCS Fredericton–in the Mediterranean with NATO’s SNMG2. Naval drills were also conducted in the Black Sea with the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies.

The international community has not recognized the annexation of Crimea and continues to impose heavy sanctions on Russian individuals. Meanwhile, Russia is currently conducting large-scale snap drills, including in Crimea and the Kalinigrad Oblast. More than 38,000 troops are involved in these drills.

Also, Russia just signed an “alliance and integration” treaty with South Ossetia to boost defence cooperation.

Canada will most likely keep imposing sanctions on Russia unless Crimea is returned to Ukraine – an impossible outcome.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.