Canada Russia an 'acute threat,' Britain's top soldier says as NATO leaders convene
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Most G7 leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, traded the breezy English seaside community of Carbis Bay for NATO's fortress-like headquarters in Brussels as a watershed summit begins Monday amid stark warnings about — and from — Russia.
Britain's top military commander told CBC News in an exclusive interview that the Russian military is far more capable, active and potentially dangerous than it was seven years ago when Moscow annexed Crimea — an occupation Ukraine considers illegal.
Trudeau pledges support for Ukraine, mum on support for next step in NATO membership
BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is joining a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with Canada reiterating its broad support for Ukraine, but not whether it will back a move by Kyiv to join the military alliance amid tensions with Russia. The federal government said last week Canada will continue to help address security threats in the region, but did not go as far as saying it would throw its unbridled support behind Ukraine's push for NATO membership at the summit.
"The balance has changed and I think it is right for us to now think about Russia as an acute threat," Gen. Nick Carter said on Sunday.
In addition to the annexation, Carter said recent activities add up to acts that are "assertive and in some ways aggressive."
He referenced cyberattacks attributed to proxies with ties to the Kremlin, increased submarine activity in the North Atlantic, the reactivation of Cold War bases in the Arctic and the build-up of forces on the border with Ukraine that remain despite pledges they would be withdrawn.
Ukraine still waiting on NATO membership
Few countries feel that heat more than Ukraine, which faces an ongoing, protracted war with Russian-financed proxy forces in two eastern districts.
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© provided by the point R insured by the desire of President Joe Biden to "revitalize" alliances, NATO members participate in a " Reunion summit "Monday in Brussels, but the Europeans are suspicious and divided against the strategic reorientation desired by the Americans. Two Emerging Bruding Points: Defense Financing and China . "There are convergences and there are differences," recognizes the Secretary General of the Alliance, Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg .
The government of President Volodymyr Zelensky appears to be growing impatient with the more than decade-long desire to join NATO — agitation that has not gone unnoticed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Last week, Putin issued a harsh warning over prospects of Ukraine joining the western military alliance and obtaining the cherished security guarantee of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Charter, which stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack on all.
Putin said more than half of Ukraine's population is opposed to joining NATO and were not prepared to see themselves in the crossfire of a potential conflict.
"These are smart people," Putin said in an interview with Russian state television last week. "They understand, they don't want to wind up on the firing line, they don't want to be bargaining chips or cannon fodder."
It's unclear what Ukrainian public opinion data formed the basis of Putin's assessment. A survey conducted three months ago found 57 per cent of Ukrainians support becoming part of the alliance.
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© AFP Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO at the rally organized in Brussels Monday, June 14th. NATO Secretary General will present this week to the organization's leaders a new strategy to cope with China that "gets closer to us", from a military and technological point of view.
"We are looking forward to the upcoming NATO summit," Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, told the House of Commons foreign affairs committee earlier this month.
"We believe this is the time we should finally lay down a clear path for Ukraine to become a NATO member."
The recent build up Russian forces on the border of Ukraine and the pledge by Moscow to place 20 new military units along its western frontier are sobering events that require reflection, but also resolve, Shevchenko said.
"Canada and its NATO allies should rethink, upgrade and boost their response to the Russian aggressive actions," he said.
The message was, in all likelihood, politely reinforced in a recent phone call between Zelensky and Trudeau just before the G7 Summit.
Ukraine's understandable angst puts the Liberal government in an awkward spot. Canada has been one of the eastern European country's biggest backers on the international stage and within NATO.
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NATO-Summit-Turkey: Nothing serious in relations between Turkey and USA, says Erdogan © Reuters / Yves Herman Nothing serious in relations between Turkey And USA, says Erdogan by Humeyra Pamuk, Gabriela Baczynska, ECE Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu Brussels (Reuters) - Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was optimistic Monday after his first meeting with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, Although their maintenance has led to any concrete progress of the relationship between the two countri
Canada also has 200 troops training Ukrainian soldiers in the finer points of small-unit combat, as well as specialties such as mine-clearing and medical evacuation.
Fears of 'unwarranted miscalculation'
Moscow has undoubtedly been made nervous by NATO's eastward expansion over the last two decades — including Latvia, Estonia and Poland — but Carter said there are other internal and external driving the Kremlin's political calculations.
He believes Russia feels "very threatened" in its sphere of influence. "I think they're worried about the way in which the Russian population currently respects — or doesn't — the Russian state," Carter said.
"And so, they've got reasons to be nervous, but this sort of assertive behaviour is dangerous. And what we don't need is escalation leading, as I said earlier, to unwarranted miscalculation."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg deferred when asked about Ukraine's seeming impatience by CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
"When leaders meet on Monday, I expect them to reiterate NATO's open door policy, meaning that we are open for new members," Stoltenberg said on Rosemary Barton Live. "We have demonstrated that over the last few years by admitting two new members, Montenegro and North Macedonia.
"We stand by the decision we made in 2008 regarding Ukraine and Georgia, but the focus now is on reforms is to enable those two countries to meet the NATO standards and need to support them in those."
Others, such as defence analyst Tina Park, see a reluctance more broadly among NATO countries to formally admit Ukraine.
"While they recognize the threats posed by Russia, there are critical areas, like climate change for instance, where Russian cooperation is necessary for us to move forward as an international community," said Park, vice president of the NATO Association of Canada.
"Some NATO countries are not very interested in antagonizing Russia or having to deal with their on citizens reaction to NATO enlargement."
The West is moving to isolate China — and Canada could reap the rewards .
Over the past several days, western democracies have taken steps to constrain the Chinese Communist Party at the G7, NATO, Canada-EU and Biden-Putin summits. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to be avoiding the fray, Canada could benefit from efforts to isolate China.But there was little the CCP could do to turn a tide that clearly has turned against it.