rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Canada's Foreign Affairs minister is visiting Ukraine, says dialogue with Russia needed

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

A subltle shift in the attitude of the Canadian government towards Russia has been signalled by Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion.

On January 27, Dion announced to the House of Commons in Ottawa that he would visit Ukraine in the coming days. Facing opposition party haranguing, he restated views expressed to journalists one day earlier that it was time for a shift in relations with Russia.

Dion told the House, "Our foreign policy will stop being ideological and irrational and will be effective for our allies and for Canadians."

Dion's pronouncements coincided with views expressed to journalists in Moscow on January 26 by Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. He said Canada's attitude to Russia during the past two years has been driven by an "absence of pragmatism." He said Canadian policy has been "Russophobic" and has served the wishes of the right-wing, Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, not the country's national interests. The text of Lavrov's remarks is below.

Watch this blog in the coming days for analysis of the reasons for the Canadian policy shift and the possible consequences.

The apparent shift in attitude to Russia by the government in Ottawa has not yet filtered down into members of Parliament. Watch spokespeople for the Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties parrot their tired, identical anti-Russia refrains in a CBC television interview on January 26, here.

See also:
Sergey Lavrov answers reporter's question about Russia-Canada relations, Jan 26, 2016, full text of Lavrov's comments on Canada, from the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.