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The Passivists

The Passivists

Canada sends Nord Stream turbine to Germany, despite Ukraine resistance

Active Support for Ukraine has made history for the amount of funds and military equipment that has been given to Ukraine by NATO and other supportive nations. Sanctions against Russia has also made history for the level of restrictions and depth of sanctions against Russia’s Government and those tied to Putin himself. The donated advanced military equipment has taken a large toll on Russian forces in Ukraine, as systems like Hi-Mars and Javelin have given Ukraine the ability to stop Russian tanks and armour in the field and challenge Russian positions.

A recent break in relations between Ukraine and some of its NATO allies took place when Canada decided to suspend parts of its sanctions and send upwards of six gas turbines to Germany’s Russian oil pipeline in order for Russia to send oil to Germany via a main pipeline in Europe. Despite sanctions, Canada readily sent equipment to Russia that would help financially support their war effort. While the intent of the turbine and pipeline is to get fuel to Germany, and much of Europe is still unable to displace Russian oil and gas from their economies, it angered President Zelinsky to such a degree that Ukrainian organisations decided to sue over the actions. This act is also compounded with the fact that North American oil and gas has done little to increase production in order to displace Russian oil in Europe. The strategy so far has been to beg countries with atrocious human rights records to increase production. In one instance, Iran was tapped by Russia directly for military equipment in the form of drones, a country that has been asked by the United States to increase production to help ease fuel prices in support of the effort to protect Ukraine.

Open support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people have been openly bold, but when looking into the finer details, some of the support has been more useful for publicity at home than in aid of soldiers on the ground in Ukraine. In this interview linked here, a Canadian fighting on the ground in Ukraine stated that half of the night vision equipment sent to them from Canada simply did not work. With transport so difficult to the front line in Ukraine right now, occupying shipping space with broken equipment is a multilevel detriment to the war effort in Ukraine. Even when assisting Ukrainian refugees into their country, Canada has created a special status for Ukrainian claimants into Canada that removes some of the supports under their normal Refugee Protection system. This left many in difficult situations when in Canada. Even on the announcement of a hotel for refugees in the middle of their largest city, Ukrainians were not allowed to have access to this newly funded refugee shelter, despite them consisting mostly of women and children in an area close to their larger immigrant community. In a time when Canadian citizens who’s families are the victim of Iran’s Government murdering them on Flight 752, Canada has told the families that they will only be represented by Ukraine in the international claim, this while Ukraine is at war and trying to preserve the continued existence of their own country.

While the world has decided to help Ukraine and punish Russia in support of Ukraine and its people, help must be given in a meaningful way. This means not tying policies to help Ukrainians with those also supporting Russian forces in the conflict on the other end of the policy approach. This means not treating Ukrainian refugees better or worse than others making those claims, and giving them equal treatment in the processes that are well established to help those running from war and human rights abuses. Actions taken by the International Ukrainian Community should extend past the turbine issue, to how refugees from Ukraine are being treated in the few instances where systemic discrimination is being applied upon their arrival to safe countries. The image of help is worth little to those who really need it.





Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration