Mr. Speaker, Canada was very disappointed by the recent statements made by Russian leaders, including President Putin, stating that they would aim nuclear weapons at Ukraine if it joined NATO and allowed U.S. missile defence assets on its territory. Such statements are a source of preoccupation in Canada as well as with the Euro-Atlantic community.
Even if couched in hypothetical terms, the threat gives us cause for considerable concern. As a matter of fundamental principle, the use of such threats is unacceptable. Moreover, it is not consistent with the positive relationships we have been striving to develop in the post-cold war environment.
Our response is firm: the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine are not to be questioned. Ukraine is free and must remain free to choose the foreign policy course that suits its aspirations. In this respect, it can count on Canada's unquestionable support.