Ukrainian foreign minister says government determined to take back Crimea from Russia
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told Global News’ Mercedes Stephenson in this week’s The West Block that his government is determined to take back the region of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 and remains under occupation.
“Occupied Crimea under Russia is going nowhere, so fundamentally we will be able to get Crimea back. It’s about our ability to counter the Russians, [but] also about our ability to become sustainable and effective democracy,” Klimkin said on Global News’ The West Block.
WATCH; Actions speak louder than words: Trudeau’s thumbs up to Putin
“It’s kind of beacon for people who live in Crimea,” he said.
Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the war in the region has escalated, with more than 10,000 people being killed. False elections have been carried out in the region by Russians, which have been condemned by several NATO countries, including Canada.
Klimkin went on to call the war in Ukraine a shame, saying the people who live there are paying the price.
WATCH: The West Block: Nov 18
“We have a real hot war in Ukraine, almost every night Ukrainian soldiers are killed along the tag line because the Russians keep sending to the occupied Donbass, troops, mercenaries. At the same time, [there is] a total clamp down on human rights,” Klimkin explained.
Furthermore, he added that the Russians are also attempting to resettle their own people in Crimea, to “squeeze out real Ukrainians.”
Russian officials are also beginning to eliminate those who don’t agree with the Russian occupation of Crimea, he said.
WATCH: President Trump has pushed NATO members to increase spending: Gottemoeller
Beyond physical warfare however, he explained that the Russians are also waging a war of propaganda against the Crimean people, in what he calls “non-conventional” attacks
“You need to learn actually from Ukraine,” he warned, “because the Russian goal is to undermine and weaken our democratic institutions and you should be very vigilant and prepared for fighting the Russians in the sense.”
Klimkin said there may be hope as Ukraine has received resources from several countries. However, he said they’re still in need of more.
“We have defence supplies from a number of countries just mentioned, but we definitely need more because strengthening our abilities to threaten Russian threats would definitely serve the whole democratic world,” he said.
Last year, Canada extended its military mission in Ukraine until the end of March, 2019.
“What we could do with Canada, Russia and the European Union would be much appreciated.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.