22:35 GMT +328 March 2017
    Chrystia Freeland (File)

    Ottawa's New Foreign Minister is 'Catastrophe for Canadian-Russian Relations'

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    The appointment of Chrystia Freeland is a "catastrophe" for Canada's relations with Russia, historian Michael J. Carley told Radio Sputnik.

    In a surprise move last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired his foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion, an experienced politician who had also served as Liberal Party leader and leader of the opposition under a previous Conservative government.

    In his place, Trudeau appointed the relatively inexperienced Chrystia Freeland, who had held the role of international trade minister. 

    Freeland is banned from Russia as a result of Russian counter-sanctions. 

    In 2014, when Canada imposed sanctions on Russian officials after the referendum in Crimea, Russia's Foreign Ministry included Freeland in the reciprocal sanctions list.

    She is known for her criticism of the Russian government, and her support for the CETA free trade agreement she helped to negotiate between Canada and the EU.

    Michael J. Carley, head of history at the University of Montreal and specialist in relations between the West and Russia, told Radio Sputnik that the decision to appoint Freeland is Trudeau's attempt to prepare for the incoming US administration, which wants to renegotiate free trade agreements like NAFTA.

    "This appointment is a catastrophe for Canadian-Russian relations, I cannot understand why the government would have selected her to be minister for external affairs with her stated position with respect to Russia, Crimea, and Ukraine. She's a Russophobe, a hater of Putin, of Russian politics," Carley said.

    "To me this looks like the Prime Minister Trudeau is just abandoning any thought of better relations with Russia, for me it's an incomprehensible appointment."

    Freeland may have been appointed in order to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the US to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the US, which Trump has called "the worst trade deal in history." 

    "The Canadian mainstream media is saying she was selected because she has skills in negotiating trade agreements, I suppose with regard to negotiations with the EU (about CETA). It looks to me like she was picked because the government thinks she can strongly represent Canada's interests [in its dealings] with the US. But it also means that they've decided to abandon any attempt to improve relations with Russia, which I find quite disturbing."

    "Stéphane Dion, the outgoing minister who was sacked, was quite clear that he wanted to improve relations with Russia and I have a feeling that he didn’t have a lot of support for that policy within cabinet. He certainly didn't get very far with that policy, and now it's over. Trudeau has sacrificed it in order to mount a defense against Trump's attack on NAFTA."

    "It looks to me like an act of panic, a loss of perspective on what's important to Canadian interests in the realm of foreign policy."

    According to Radio Canada International, "Dion had sought to reverse the policy of the previous Conservative government of Prime Minister Harper who cut almost all political contacts with Moscow," following Crimea's secession from Ukraine.

    The state-run radio station cites Paul Robinson, a former British intelligence officer and expert on Russia, as saying "we have a foreign minister who is actually prohibited from travelling to Russia, which is I think must be something of a first in international relations."

    Freeland is of Ukrainian origin on her mother's side, speaks fluent Russian and Ukrainian, and has referred to herself as 'a Ukrainian-Canadian activist'.


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    • siberianhusky
      The Canadian government is nothing more then a doormat and mouth piece for the Americans just like the British government. Justin hasn't got the balls and brains his father had.
    • avatar
      Canada is not important in world affairs. It cannot be independent of the US and has no clout in any world forum. Since its foreign minister cannot travel to Russia, she is totally ineffective in the key job of promoting Canada. She will also find some difficulties in dealing with China, many Central Asia republics and the Brics nations which support Russia. What a mess!
    • avatar
      well those nazi ukrainians kids are given a chance again
    • avatar
      giorgoskaz11in reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, OK but he is handsome man, you can't have it all greedy canadians
    • sapper
      Samantha Power's twin or clone???
    • avatar
      Marques rouges
      Freeland ? really ?

      What is her real name ?
    • avatar
      Given what Canada has done, is doing and is supporting in Syria, who needs relations with a state that commits international,humanitarian and war crimes like canada?
    • avatar
      tobi.gelandoin reply tokasivasantha(Show commentHide comment)
      kasivasantha, She will be more disgusting as samantha !!!
    • avatar
      terminate her
    • avatar
      Never trust a person that smiles ear to ear, without ever showing their teeth. This Ukrainian cunt, appointed not by Trudeau but by US operatives in the Canadian government, should remain banned from Russia.
      As a Canadian, I would agree.

      I am disappointed in Trudeau, but I know he is not his father.

      And Trudeau's father, Pierre, would never have allowed America to quietly dictate to Canada as it now so clearly is doing.

      Trudeau is grovelling to the United States, and he has found exactly the right person to use in his grovelling in this woman.

      She speaks Ukrainian at home, and so many of Canada's citizens with origins in Ukraine have an ancient anti-USSR bias since that reflects the time they or their parents came here.

      In the end of course, the American relationship is immensely more important to Canada than the Russian, and that is so simply because America owns so much of us.

      Sad but true.
    • avatar
      Another retarded freak dragged out from some sewer onto the world stage. Where do these Russophobes get these people? They seem to be working overtime to create problems.
    • avatar
      and one can hear the grunts of approval from the neocons and others aligned to their dangerous worldview.
    • avatar
      Personally if I were Canadian I'd be disappointed by this government....
    • avatar
      Hopefully, Russia will not legalize her. Keep her on the banned list. She's another Samantha Power and Vicky Nudelman the Cookie Monster. She shouldn't be welcomed in Moscow at all. Let that limp d1ck Trudeau come to Moscow, if he dares.
    • avatar
      That's right, more sanctions and keep on training NAZI'S in western Ukraine you retards.
    • avatar
      Freeland!!!!!! You have got to be kidding! Canada as a country is doomed with Trudeau and Freeland! Talk about ZERO leadership!
    • Adrienne Adonis
      Who care about freedman.... I'm still questioning what gender she is ? To me that's more important than her political views........ She is just one of the paid trolls put in position to advance the socialistic liberal agenda.
    • Eagleone
      I haven't meet anyone that thinks this was a good appointment. Most people haven't even heard of her Ukranian roots and the Russian angle. Most just know her as the diplomat that cried when she didn't get her way in the CETA negotiations.

      The appointment of Freeland slipped by most Canadians as they were registering their disgust at the Trudeau appointment of a Somali refugee as our minister of immigration.

      Believe me Trudeau is finished anyways when his term is done. He got voted in to remove the danger of a Harper dictatorship. People figured his immaturity might be a problem, but no one imagined it would be this bad.

      Trudeaus motives had nothing to do with Russia. Most Candians only know of Russia for its hockey players. Russia just doesn't register with most Canadians as relevant. Trudeau made the appointment along with his Somali refugee as minister of immigration because he was a boxer and wants a fight with Trump. This was purely a juvenile attempt by Trudeau to diss Trump and his policy plans just prior to Trump taking office with Trudeau thinking he can preempt any Trump policies that might effect Canada. We are really screwed as a nation with that kind of leadership now. Trudeau will be up for reelection in Two years time mid Trump term and it's a huge gamble betting on a Trump failure.
    • avatar
      And as has come to light now - via Russia Insider and verified, some of her ancestral relatives (grandfather) collaborated with the Nazis. Apparently she either never mentioned this or denied it. A journalist by the name of John Helmer wrote the article entitled "Scoop..." something.
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