Canada sends anti-tank weapons to Ukraine and bans imports of Russian oil
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that Canada will send a new arms shipment to Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles and improved munitions. Trudeau also confirmed that Canada would ban imports of Russian oil, the first major Western country to do so. The oil import ban is largely symbolic, given that Canada has not received an oil shipment from Russia since 2019.
Along with the United States and Britain, the Liberal government of Canada led the charge of the imperialist powers by imposing devastating sanctions on Russia and supplying armaments to Ukraine after the Putin government invaded the country. last Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention, which all socialists and class-conscious workers must oppose, was deliberately instigated by the imperialist powers, including Canada, and is now seized upon by Washington and its allies to push for a catastrophic war between the United States and NATO and Russia.
In addition to the arms shipment from Canada, the Trudeau government is sending two Hercules C130 transport planes to Europe to help arms shipments from other NATO members reach Ukraine. When asked on Sunday if Canadian troops would be sent to Ukraine to fight Russian forces, Defense Minister Anita Anand replied: “A combat mission is not on the table at the moment.
A senior Canadian government official has boasted that Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland played an important role in pressuring European powers to accept the exclusion of Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system, a move described by the French finance minister as a “financial nuclear weapon.
This act of economic warfare by the G7, combined with restrictions imposed on the Russian central bank to prevent it from supporting the rouble, has already had devastating consequences as interest rates have more than doubled and the value of the currency dropped. These sanctions will have disastrous consequences in the weeks and months to come, as ordinary Russians struggle to afford basic necessities, such as food and medicine.
The Trudeau government further escalated tensions with Moscow yesterday when Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly told reporters in Geneva that Ottawa would formally ask the International Criminal Court in The Hague to open investigations into the crimes of war and crimes against humanity committed by Russia. Joly was also among a group of American, British, German and other diplomats who defiantly left Tuesday’s meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council as soon as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began. his speech via video.
Anti-Russian sanctions have also been tightened. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has confirmed that Canadian ports will be closed to Russian-owned and registered vessels later this week. Canadian airspace was closed to Russian aircraft on Sunday morning.
After a meeting with her G7 colleagues, Deputy Prime Minister Freeland announced on Tuesday afternoon that new sanctions against Russia would be imposed in the coming days. Freeland denounced Putin as an “international pariah” and described Russia as a “failing kleptocracy.”
Joly made it clear on Sunday that the Trudeau government supports Canadians who join the Ukrainian army to fight the Russian invasion. “We understand that people of Ukrainian descent want to support their fellow Ukrainians and also that there is a desire to defend the homeland and in that sense it is their own individual decision,” she said during the interview. ‘a press conference. “Let’s be clear: we are all very supportive of any form of support for Ukrainians at this time.”
This amounts to nothing less than official endorsement of far-right forces across Canada to mobilize support for fascist militias that play a prominent role in the Ukrainian military, such as the Azov Battalion. As part of a training mission established in Ukraine after the 2014 imperialist-sponsored coup that toppled pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Canadian personnel held meetings with members of Azov and provided them with training. the Citizen of Ottawa reported in November that Canadian servicemen gave instructions to members of Centuria, a neo-Nazi group, at the Ukrainian National Army Academy. (See: Canadian Armed Forces provide military training to Ukrainian neo-Nazis)
Underscoring the liberal government’s conscious promotion of such reactionary political forces, Freeland was pictured at a pro-Ukrainian protest Sunday night holding aloft a Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) banner. The UPA was the military arm of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), a far-right nationalist group founded by Stepan Bandera that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. The OUN was complicit in the massacre of Jews and Poles during the Nazis’ war of annihilation against the Soviet Union. After tweeting a photo of herself holding the banner, Freeland was forced to delete the tweet due to public criticism. She later posted a photo of the same protest with the banner removed.
Canada’s close collaboration with Ukrainian fascists has gone hand in hand with its role in the aggressive US-led NATO expansion into Eastern Europe over the past three decades. Following the 2014 Western-funded coup in Kyiv, Canada agreed to send 540 troops to Latvia to lead one of four NATO “enhanced forward presence” battlegroups in the Baltic and Poland. Trudeau announced in February the deployment of 460 more troops to Eastern Europe, including a 120-man gunnery unit, a reconnaissance aircraft and a second frigate to join NATO patrols. Another 3,400 troops have been put on standby for immediate deployment to Europe.
In addition to offering near-unanimous support for the immediate supply of arms and other military aid to Ukraine, Canadian imperialist representatives are enthusiastically discussing the prospects the current war will offer for enforcing geostrategic and economic interests in Ottawa’s longer term. A major area of interest is the supply of oil and natural gas to Europe, where some countries depend on Russia for up to half of their natural gas needs.
Peter MacKay, Canada’s Defense Minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a candidate for the leadership of the Official Opposition Conservatives, has called for even tougher sanctions against Russia to block all foreign trade and increased deliveries arms to Ukraine.
Fighting Russia was not only necessary because of the situation in Eastern Europe, MacKay explained, but because of Canada’s extensive interests in the Arctic, which is becoming an important region for trade and exploitation. natural resources due to the effects of climate change.
“Canada has a vast northern border with Russia that is as wide open to encroachment and abuse if Putin wants it as Ukraine’s border has shown,” MacKay said. “If we don’t come to the aid of Ukraine now – and in a decisive and practical way – how can we expect others to help us if Putin (or Putin 2.0, 3.0, etc.) tries to come and get us?”
MP Pierre Poilievre, who is being touted as the favorite to lead the Tories, attacked European powers on Tuesday for their “weak” response to Putin. Declaring his support for a $10 billion liquefied natural gas export terminal in Newfoundland and Labrador, Poilievre promised that a Conservative government under his leadership would scrap tougher environmental regulations introduced by the Trudeau government in Bill C69 to expedite pipeline projects.
“Canada has what Europe needs and a lot,” Poilievre said in a video message on Twitter. Speaking of the Newfoundland LNG project, which would reduce transport times to Europe by six days compared to the US Gulf Coast, Poilievre added: “It will help Europe get rid of its dependence on Russian gas. so that she can stand up to Putin rather than fund him. ”
The right national post wrote yesterday in its daily bulletin: “Western European countries are now dramatically reassessing their dependence on Russian oil and gas. Germany, for example, has already begun upgrading two ports on its northern coast to accommodate liquid natural gas shipments to supplant pipelined Russian supplies.
“Canada has more than enough oil and gas to keep the lights on in Europe.”
Canada’s ruling elite also sees the war in Europe as an opportunity to strengthen the state’s domestic repression against any popular opposition to its predatory imperialist ambitions, especially from the working class. Christian Leuprecht, a security policy expert who regularly appears as a media commentator, wrote an op-ed in the national post in which he advocated labeling all anti-pipeline protesters as accomplices in “Russian aggression”.
“Canada has plenty of natural gas to liquefy and export,” he wrote. “Yet Canada is far behind in this game because it naively makes no sense of geopolitics. Make no mistake, Canadians who oppose the construction of the coastal pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia and the capacity of the pipeline to allow the export of natural gas from the east coast of Canada to Europe , aid, abet and condone Putin’s behavior.