December 12, 2013
SUDBURY, ON– The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on developments in Ukraine:
“Democracy in Ukraine is being threatened by the actions of the Ukrainian government. Recent police actions serve only to illustrate how deep the divide has become between the government and its people. Peaceful protest is a basic right. Democracy cannot succeed when a government uses force and intimidation against its own people.
“Since Ukrainian independence, Canada has enjoyed a special relationship with Ukraine. We urge the Canadian government to make use of that relationship to both convey to the Ukrainian authorities that we consider the use of force against its citizens to be unacceptable, and to offer our advice and assistance in strengthening democracy in Ukraine.
“At the same time, Canada must maintain an active dialogue with our allies in order to support democracy in Ukraine. In the face of violence against demonstrators, the Canadian government should explore common action with our allies, such as imposing personal sanctions against the president and others who have so grievously violated the human rights of Ukrainian citizens.
“While we are encouraged by reports that the Ukrainian government is reversing its position and now intends to sign an association agreement with the European Union, this must be followed up with concrete action. Ukraine’s path of integration with Europe is a policy that, since independence, has enjoyed the support of the Ukrainian people and all major political parties in the country.”
Office of the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada