Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada's Ukraine connection

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Members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community rally outside the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa.

JUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS Enlarge Image

Members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community rally outside the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa.

Re: Canada is failing 'all' Ukrainians, Editorial, Jan. 29.

At last the Canadian government has made a comment about the present situation in Ukraine. There are so many Canadians who can trace family heritage and personal connections to Ukraine; as such, developments in Ukraine resonate in Canada.

Canada was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Ukraine in 1991, and in 2004 was quick to applaud the Orange Revolution and its focus on democracy.

Canada should marshal a diplomatic effort, engaging European countries and the U.S. to force President Viktor Yanukovych into a general election, allowing freedom of assembly, speech and choice. Placing diplomatic visiting restrictions or "personal sanctions" on Ukrainian officials doesn't have enough tangible influence on a regime that targets violence and intimidation at activists, journalists and civilians.

We must take a stand for a free and just Ukraine, not a regime that rejects negotiations and subjects its people to violence. Restricting visiting rights of Ukrainian officials isn't an effective tool to counter the repression in Ukraine.

PETER MANASTYRSKY

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2014 A10

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