Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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The Right Honourable Stephen Harper,
P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2
March 29, 2014

Dear Prime Minister:

We represent the Latvian National Youth Association of Canada and would like to bring to your attention our members’ concerns to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. We are the descendents of those who lost their nation’s independence and liberty for over half a century to Russian occupation and know the importance of such values.

The invasion and annexation of Crimea is illegal and arguments for Russia’s incursion are simply without merit. President Putin has no respect for international law, peace, or stability and his actions have dire implications not only for European but global security. Annexing Crimea is but one example of a long list of threatening actions Mr. Putin has taken and if pressure against his government is not maintained it will not be his last. Russian military aggression against Ukraine cannot go unpunished. Mr. Putin must be let known that illegal actions have consequences. We call on the Canadian government to increase the economic sanction list to top Russian policy officials, maintain and increase political pressure to isolate Russia, and to persuade Canada’s European and NATO allies of the need to implement stricter economic sanctions.

The Ukrainian people desire respect and dignity from their government, a society without corruption, and to enjoy the fruits of liberty. Ukraine needs help and support more than ever in overcoming perilous challenges towards joining the European family of nations. We commend your government’s strong support for Ukraine in its most perilous time of need. Continued economic and technical assistance is needed so as to deny Russian attempts to destabilize Ukraine any further. Vigilant attention must also be given towards Russia’s treatment of Crimea’s ethnic minority, the Tatar peoples. Canada must demonstrate courage and leadership so that Ukraine may build a more hopeful and prosperous future.

Yours sincerely,

Liga Upeslacis
Chair of the board
Latvian National Youth Association of Canada (LNYAC)
Markuss Zichmanis
Vice-chair of the board
Latvian National Youth Association of Canada (LNYAC)