Speaking to reporters in Riga, Latvia, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for NATO to present a "clear and firm response" to Russia.
As justification, Trudeau cited Crimea's unification with Russia, the Ukrainian crisis, as well as "actions elsewhere around the world, most notably on UK soil, in Salisbury," in reference to the case of the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, which London blamed on Moscow without presenting any solid proof.
"We certainly hope that Russia will choose to become a more positive actor in the global sphere than it has chosen to be in the past years," Trudeau said.
Trudeau's remarks come a day ahead of the annual NATO summit being held in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday. This year's agenda is expected to include tense discussions about the defense commitments of US allies, which President Trump has repeatedly slammed as woefully insufficient.
The president has demanded that US allies adhere to the NATO pledge of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute figures, Canada spent 1.3 percent of its GDP, or $20.6 billion, on defense in 2017.
Canada's relations with its southern ally have been severely strained in recent weeks over a growing trade conflict between the two countries, with Canada introducing $12.6 billion in tariffs on US goods on July 1 in response to US aluminum and steel tariffs. Things got personal between Trump and Trudeau at last month's G-7 summit, with the president calling the prime minister "very dishonest" and "weak."