Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Our envoy to Ukraine a Manitoban

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Talk about a complex diplomatic posting.

The Canadian ambassador to Ukraine, a Manitoban, has his work cut out for him during the eastern European country's struggles with Russia over issues such as the annexation of Crimea.

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Troy Lulashnyk grew up in Selkirk and in 1995 earned a master's degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba.

He was posted to Kyiv in 2011 and since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia heated up in January, he has declined Free Press interview requests. Family members in Selkirk have declined to talk about Lulashnyk, too.

The executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Ottawa says given the volatility of the situation in Ukraine, he can understand the diplomat from Manitoba maintaining media silence.

"He's an incredibly hard-working man and he is in a very difficult post," said Taras Zalusky.

"He has done a very good job of representing Canada's interests in Ukraine."

Lulashnyk played a leading role in co-ordinating election-monitoring groups when Ukrainians went to the polls, Zalusky said.

"He's definitely been out there in the current context as well," he said.

As events unfold in Independence Square in Kyiv, the ambassador has been co-ordinating Canada's response on behalf of the Canadian government, said Zalusky.

"He's very responsive and responsible."

A federal government biography says Lulashnyk worked with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as a nuclear non-proliferation officer from 1996 to 1998.

In 1999 he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as a senior policy adviser with the Nuclear and Chemical Disarmament Implementation Agency.

In 2002, he became director of the Global Partnership Program trying to prevent terrorist groups and "countries of proliferation concern" from accessing Cold War weapons and materials of mass destruction and related expertise in the former Soviet Union.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 25, 2014 A3

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