James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman and Shadow Minister for National Defence and Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued a statement following the re-election of Vladimir Putin as Russia’s President:
“On March 18, Russians headed to the polls to elect their country’s new President. In most countries, an election is a symbol of democracy, and of the rules and institutions that unite free nations and provide stability to the international community. However, Vladimir Putin has shown that he has no appreciation for the principles of democracy or the rules-based international order.
“The timing of this election was heavily symbolic. The elections were conducted on the fourth anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in the wake of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. They also came just two weeks after former spy Sergei Skripal was found to be poisoned by a lethal nerve agent that could only have come from the Russian state – the first known offensive use of such a weapon on European soil since the Second World War. The message is clear: Vladimir Putin has no regard for the sovereignty of democratic countries, and will stop at nothing to get rid of those who oppose him.
“We will not recognize the results of the presidential elections held on the territory of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which constitute an integral part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
“With the extension of Putin’s regime, it is imperative that the rest of the world show that his assaults on the international order will not be tolerated. Canada must work with our G7 and NATO allies to ensure Russia respects the borders of other sovereign countries, to debunk propaganda emanating from the Russian Federation and to fully utilize the Magnitsky Act to ensure that corrupt foreign officials cannot hide their illicit wealth in the west or use our countries as safe havens for their families.”