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Expulsion of Russian diplomats | Canada considers emulating its European allies

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(Ottawa) Canada is seriously considering following in the footsteps of France and several other European countries which expelled diplomats from Russia en masse in the wake of the discovery of massacres allegedly committed by Russian forces near from Kyiv.

Sharing the outrage and condemnation expressed by Western leaders at the “horrifying” images coming from Boutcha, northwest of Kyiv, following the withdrawal of Russian troops, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Russia was to be held responsible for every crime committed by its troops on the territory of Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion.

“The images coming out of Boutcha are absolutely horrifying. It’s unacceptable to see that,” the prime minister said before question period in the House of Commons.

The murders of civilians, the sexual violence, the rapes in a systematic way to try to attack the Ukrainian population, this is something that has obviously been allowed or encouraged by the Russian authorities. Russia must be held responsible for every rape, every murder in Boucha.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

In the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, a spokesperson indicated that Canada took note of the decisions of its allies who expelled Russian diplomats and was now evaluating its options.

“Canada denounces the senseless killing of civilians by Russian forces. We take into account the recent decisions of our partners and allies to expel Russian diplomats. We are discussing the subject with our partners and we are currently evaluating the options,” said Minister Joly’s press secretary, Adrien Blanchard, in an email to The Press.

He added that Canada continued “to call on Russia to immediately cease all hostile and provocative action against Ukraine and to withdraw all military forces from the country”.

Boucha is a game-changer

In the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Conservative Party pressed the Trudeau government to expel the Russian ambassador to Canada in retaliation. Especially since the ambassador, according to the conservatives, is only repeating the “propaganda” and “disinformation” of President Valdimir Putin.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then indicated that such a gesture was delicate because Moscow could impose the same medicine on Canadian diplomats, which could not be in the interest of the country.

“We have to balance that [par rapport à] the positive impact that there can be, that Canadian diplomats in Moscow can have [pour] understand what is happening with the Russian population, [pour] support people on the ground and help Canadians who may find themselves caught in Russia right now,” he said in early March.

But the horror images that have been broadcast from Boutcha are a game-changer, we say behind the scenes.


PHOTO RODRIGO ABD, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A woman stands in a devastated area of ​​Boutcha, northwest of Kyiv, where horror images have been coming for a few days now.

After France and Germany on Monday, Italy, Spain and Slovenia in turn expelled Russian diplomats en masse on Tuesday as sanctions.

This decision marked a further deterioration in relations between Western countries and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine six weeks ago.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, also announced on Tuesday that he had decided to declare “persona non grata” several members of the Russian representation to the European Union because of “activities contrary” to their status as diplomats. , without saying how much or the date of their expulsion.

Germany announced that it was expelling “a large number” of Russian diplomats stationed in Berlin. According to information from AFP, their number would amount to 40.

For its part, France has decided to expel 35 Russian diplomats “whose activities are contrary to [ses] interests”, according to a source close to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Italy has decided to expel 30 Russian diplomats for “national security” reasons.

Russia continued to reject any involvement, denouncing a Ukrainian “staging” aimed, according to Moscow, at denigrating the image of Russian soldiers.

With Agence France-Presse

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