Many diplomats’ eyebrows at the G-20 Summit held in Brisbane probably went up slightly when mild-mannered Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was leader to tell Russia’s Vladimir Putin bluntly to “get out of Ukraine.”
However, it might bear noting that Canada is home to the third largest population of Ukrainians (1.200,000) outside Ukraine itself and Russia. Harper’s slam probably was appreciated by those citizens back home.
Canada also has shown its particular interest in Ukraine by its program operated in concert with America’s International Republican Institute (IRI) to help develop democratic institutions and processes in Ukraine. The IRI conducted a successful observer mission for Ukraine’s national elections late last month.