Diplomacy not Militarization: The Courage to Call for Negotiations

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ottawa must find the courage to push for negotiations as a way out of the conflict.

Take a minute to write a letter to all MPs calling on them to to support diplomacy instead of further militarization.



Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law that has already caused significant death and suffering. While Russia’s actions must be condemned, the Canadian government’s contribution to this calamitous situation shouldn’t be ignored.

Since the early 1990s, Canada has pushed to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep despite promises to Soviet officials not to do so. Now 600 Canadian troops lead a semi-permanent NATO mission in Latvia on Russia’s doorstep.

While the US has stationed aggressive weapon systems in Eastern Europe and maintains nuclear weapons across the continent, Canadian officials blamed Russia when the Donald Trump administration withdrew from the INF Treaty, which banned an entire class of nuclear weapons.

Most directly, Canada played a role in today's tensions by contributing to the 2014 overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, which precipitated an eight-year war in the east of the country that’s left 14,000 dead. Incredibly, the Canadian embassy in Kyiv was used by anti-government protesters for a week in the lead up to Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster.

Instead of pouring in more weapons, Canada should push to negotiate a way out of the conflict. The alternative is evermore Ukrainians dying and the growing possibility of cataclysmic nuclear war. It takes courage to press for diplomacy during war.

Canada should declare its opposition to the expansion of NATO, call on the US to withdraw nuclear weapons from Europe and push for Ukraine to adopt the Minsk agreement to resolve the eight-year conflict in the east of the country.


This action is organized by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.