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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international

For immediate release



Committee travels to Eastern Europe and Central Asia to better understand these regions, and to determine optimal Canadian policies toward the countries in them

Ottawa, January 16, 2017 -

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development begins a 12-day mission to four countries – Ukraine, Latvia and Poland in Eastern Europe, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia, on 16 January 2017. While all of these countries were either part of – or dominated by – the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the political and economic transitions they have experienced over the past 25 years have been distinct and varied.

The purpose of the Committee’s travel is to learn about key political, security and other issues in these countries through meetings with a variety of stakeholders. This will allow Committee members to understand the Canadian interests that are at stake, the kinds of assistance and engagement that countries in these regions are seeking from Canada, and the optimal approach for Canada’s policies toward them. The Committee will hold hearings in Ottawa on these subjects following the completion of the mission.

In Eastern Europe, the Committee will be exposed to the situations in Poland and Latvia, which have both joined the European Union and NATO in the years since the end of the Cold War. They will also visit Ukraine, which has not yet joined either institution. That country is also suffering from the illegal annexation of Crimea, and with an ongoing separatist conflict in its Donbas region.

Like the other countries of Central Asia, Kazakhstan has largely maintained its key political and economic links to former republics from the Soviet period over the past quarter-century. At the same time, it has also pursued relations with other countries, including Canada, and has opened itself to the global economy.

Further information on the Committee’s current work is available on its website.

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For more information, please contact:
Angela Crandall, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Tel: 613-996-1540