Canadian Leader Apologises for Cracking Joke on Russia Invading Ukraine

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 26, 2014 11:49 AM EST

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 25, 2014.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 25, 2014.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Liberal Leader who cracked jokes on Russia invading Ukraine, has claimed that he apologised for speaking "lightly" of a "real" issue.

According to reports by Mercedes Stephenson from CTV, Mr Trudeau has apparently apologised to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress President Paul Grod. Additionally, he personally apologised to Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada, Vadym Prystaiko, after visiting the Ukrainian embassy based in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb 25.

Mr Trudeau earlier tweeted that he had spoken to Mr Grod and told him that he was sorry for speaking lightly about Russian invasion to Ukraine which happened to be a "very real threat." At the same time, he mentioned in one of his tweets that his party was quite serious about the on-going political scenario in Ukraine.

Mr Trudeau's joke about Russia's invasion of Ukraine came in relation to Russia's failure to get an Olympic medal in hockey at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games which concluded only on Sunday, Feb 23. Russia, nevertheless, finished at the top of the point table with a total number of 33 Olympic medals, including 13 gold medals. Canada finished third with a total number of 25 medals, including 10 gold medals, whereas Norway finished ahead of them with 26 medals including 11 gold medals.

Mr Trudeau was asked on a show how Canada should react to the political unrest going on in Ukraine, to which he said that the situation in Ukraine was "very worrisome." Ironically, he apparently made fun of the situation in his next comment where he indicated that there could be a possibility of a "Russian intervention" in its neighbouring nation as Russia could be in a "bad mood" due to its defeat in hockey.

Mr Prystaiko earlier asked the Canadian politician to apologise for his comment as he considered any kind of casual comment about people dying in political unrest of a country "inappropriate." On the other hand, the immigration minister of Canada, Chris Alexander, called Mr Trudeau's joke "offensive" and "distasteful."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Chris Wattie / )
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 25, 2014.
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