FAAE Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international
For immediate release
FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS REPORT ON EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
Ottawa, November 22, 2017 -
Today, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development presented a report to the House of Commons entitled: Strengthening Canadian Engagement in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The report is the result of the Committee’s fact-finding mission to Poland, Latvia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, as well as six meetings it held with witnesses in Ottawa. The report examines the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 years after the Cold War, and makes 10 recommendations to the Government of Canada to strengthen Canada’s engagement in those regions.
The report is structured around four thematic areas which the Committee believes merit greater focus by Canada in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: promoting regional stability and mutual trust; supporting democratic consolidation; expanding commercial ties; and ensuring a comprehensive approach to Canadian engagement.
Among its recommendations, the Committee calls on Canada to work with its allies in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and elsewhere to counter cyber-attacks, and to develop counter measures to minimize damage inflicted by information warfare.
The role played by Russia in Eastern Europe and Central Asia was a recurring theme throughout the study. The Committee recommends that Canada continue its sanctions against Russian and post-annexation Crimean officials, and those responsible for the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. It also calls for continued sanctions against individuals involved in the abduction and illegal show trials of both Ukrainian citizens in Russia and Crimean Tatars and others within Crimea. It further recommends that Canada engage with the Russian government on the need to respect international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The full text of the Committee’s report is available on its website.
“Canada’s relationship with both Eastern Europe and Central Asia is critical for a number of reasons, including trade and security. The committee’s meetings in each of the four countries, as well as the testimony of witnesses in Ottawa, provided great insight on how to continue building these relationships in a meaningful way. The information we gathered during our mission also helped guide our recommendations to the government regarding Canada’s sanction regime.” - Hon. Robert Nault, Chair
“Canada has continued to strengthen its lasting friendships with many of our eastern European partners. The Committees recent work with these four partner nations allow for us to foster and improved relations in the areas of trade and cyber security. Further, with the increased aggression in the region, the committee's work highlights the needs to strengthen these partnerships to reinforce international law and the sovereignty of Ukraine.” - Hon. Erin O’Toole, Vice-Chair
“The sanctions regime against Russia and Canada’s support for good governance initiatives in Ukraine, are representative of the good work that this report urges us to continue in Eastern Europe. As we heard from witnesses, the government can serve the region best by working with its multilateral partners, by strengthening local institutions, and by keeping human rights at the top of its agenda.” - Hélène Laverdière, Vice-Chair
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