FAAE Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
For immediate release
FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CONCLUDES SUCCESSFUL FACT-FINDING MISSION TO EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
Ottawa, January 27, 2017 -
Members of Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on Friday concluded a productive and illuminating fact-finding mission to Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Over 12 days, the Committee carried out a mission to four countries – Ukraine, Latvia and Poland in Eastern Europe, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. While all four countries faced similar challenges as they emerged from years of Soviet dominance at the end of the Cold War, each country’s transformation was unique.
The purpose of the mission was to learn from individuals and organizations working on-the-ground about the key political, security, economic and other issues that are affecting these countries and their regions. In each country, the Committee held meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including parliamentarians, government officials, civil society members, academics and business people.
In Ukraine, the Committee heard about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the continuing separatist conflict in the Donbas region. It also heard about Canada’s ongoing support for the Government of Ukraine, including efforts to reform police and other key areas.
While in Latvia and Poland, the Committee discussed regional security and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, trade, a variety of issues related to the European Union and other subjects.
In Central Asia, the Committee learned about the range of opportunities and challenges facing Kazakhstan. That country is unique in the region in a number of respects, including both its stability and the degree to which it has maintained links to former republics from the Soviet period while also opening itself to the global economy and developing new ties to countries such as Canada.
In all of these countries, the Committee also discussed the role of multilateral institutions, as well as the issue of sanctions enacted against Russia and individuals following the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
The Committee’s fact-finding mission enabled members to understand the Canadian interests that are at stake in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 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 continue its study of these issues with hearings in Ottawa.
Further information on the Committee’s current work is available on its website.
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