08:35 GMT01 April 2020
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    Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said that Ottawa should resume dialogue with Moscow despite differences between the two countries.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ottawa should resume dialogue with Moscow despite differences between the two countries, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion told reporters.

    “Canada was speaking to the Russians even at the tough times of the Cold War, and now we are not speaking, almost not, because of the former policy of the former government,” Dion said on Tuesday. It’s certainly not the way to stop to speak with them when the Americans speak with them, and all the Europeans, the Japanese, everybody except Canada.”

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Tuesday that the ascension to power of a new Canadian government, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, increases the chances for a thaw in Moscow-Ottawa relations.

    Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was notorious for his heated anti-Russia rhetoric, and has exacerbated the downward movement of relations between the countries since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine. Supported by a vocal Ukrainian diaspora in the country, Harper has assisted Ukraine with financial and material aid.

    Canada, alongside the United States and the European Union, supported economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis. In response to the Western restrictive measures, Moscow announced in August 2014 a one-year food embargo on products originating in states that imposed the anti-Russia sanctions, a move later extended for an additional year.

    ”In which way it’s helping Ukraine? In which way it’s helping our interests in the Arctic?” Dion asserted.

    The foreign minister added that Canada’s policy should be effectively built in a way that Russia understands that Ottawa is “there to work with Russia” and that it “stands for Ukraine.”

    Many experts have repeatedly expressed hope that Trudeau will not follow Harper's adamant anti-Russia policy line and will normalize relations with Moscow.


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