MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - As Canada hits Russia with a new package of sanctions targeting Russian military officials, defense companies and the largest state-owned bank, political analyst Prof. Michel Chossudovsky believes the country is simply copying the policy of the US towards Moscow and adds that it is mostly a move to curry favor in the polls with the country’s Ukrainian diaspora.
“I think that there are essentially two elements here,” he told Radio VR. “One pertains to the fact that in recent years, particularly under the government of Prime Minister Harper, Canadian foreign policy is a ‘copy and paste’ of that of Washington. Essentially, there is an agreement on basic principles. The US and Canada have integrated military commands, the two economies are heavily integrated and the corporate elites overlap with one another.”
“That’s the first element,” he added. “The second has to do with the 1.2 million Ukrainians, or people of Ukrainian descent, who are largely concentrated in the western provinces – [such as] Manitoba.”
“And this, from the point of view of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is an important source of political support in forthcoming elections and he has played on that,” said Prof. Chossudovsky.
“But at the same time, that Ukrainian community in Canada is not necessarily aligned with the Poroshenko government. It has diverse opinions, and some people within that community are extremely critical of the ongoing processes and the Poroshenko government’s support of Nazi elements and so on.”
Prof. Chossudovsky also commented on Poroshenko’s trip abroad, including his visit to Ottawa, calling it a “public relations tour”.
“The prime minister has already promised that Canada would deploy so-called non-combat troops from the Canadian army and navy and air force,” he said.
“Non-combat sounds a bit contradictory. [They are] to join allies in Eastern Europe and I assume they may be even deployed inside Ukraine; that is an object for discussion.”
There is a financial assistance package, added Prof. Chossudovsky, but it is not particularly significant, and it would be a loan rather than direct foreign aid.
“And I think that we are dealing with a little bit of propaganda here, with public relations. Poroshenko is on a public relations tour. And I think most of these positions taken by the Ottawa government are taken closely with the US State Department.”