Ex-Canadian Diplomats Called Harper Decision To Withdraw Ambassador In Russia ‘Childish’
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 3, 2014 11:17 PM EST
Jeremy, Kinsman and Paul Heinbecker, both retired Canadian diplomets, have criticized the Canadian government's response to the political unrest in Ukraine.
Kinsman served his country as senior envoy to Britain, Italy, Russia and the European Union while Heinbecker was the former ambassador of Canada to the United Nations. He was also an adviser to past Liberal and Conservative prime ministers, The Star reported.
Neither of the two liked it when Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to withdraw the national ambassador temporarily from Russia. They were equally displeased when John Baird, Canadian foreign affairs minister, did not rule out the expulsion of Georgiy Mamedov, Russia's ambassador to the country.
According to both former diplomats, Canada's response to the crisis proved that the country is fast losing its influence over international affairs worldwide.
It all started when it historically failed to secure a temporary seat on the UN Security Council in 2010. Kinsman said withdrawing an ambassador should never really be an option. It is especially true in testing times as those times that you specifically need your ambassador to be present for, he said.
He added Canada's gesture was "silly" and "childish" as it showed that the Canadian government desperately sought attention.
Heinbecker opined that a country needed to keep up even stronger diplomatic bond at times like these. Canada, on the contrary, is cutting it off. Mamedov happens to be one person whom Canada can speak to as he is an expert at dealing with Russia-vs-West situations, Heinbecker said.
Mamedov is the person who negotiated for the Kosovo war to come to an end.
Earlier, Baird called the Russian military movement into Ukraine's Crimea region an "incredibly provocative measure." He even warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be face ramification in the future with his act. He indicated that the relation between Canada and Russia might be damaged if the situation continued to be the same.
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