Canadian minister: Ukraine can seize new opportunities
Canada is keen to provide more backing for Ukraine as Russia goes into self-isolation.
“Russia is isolating itself economically, Ukraine is opening itself economically,” Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told the Kyiv Post in a recent interview.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war and violations of international law are “bad for business in the region,” Alexander said. “But it’s an opportunity for Ukraine actually.”
But Ukraine will only attract investments if the country shows progress in changing its reputation as a corupt, post-Soviet place to do business.
Canada’s more than $680 million in aid, including low-interest loans, are targeted to economic stabilization, democracy, human rights, humanitarian assistance and security. Alexander believes Ukraine is “truly committed to a level of economic reform we haven’t seen in Ukraine,” the minister said.
By contrast, Canada appears headed for a frosty relationship with Russia as long as the Kremlin continues its aggression.
“This is unacceptable behavior, it violates the fundamental principles under which we’ve all been living since 1945 – the viability of borders, national sovereignty, self-determination – and to see it violated on this scale by a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is deeply discouraging,” Alexander said.
So far, Canada has the longest sanctions list against Russia, with a total of 207 entities and individuals targeted. Canada is willing to provide Ukraine with more military assistance, aside from the body armour and other supplies that it has already provided. Canada will send about 200 soldiers to Ukraine for military training until March of next year.
“We share the same goal, which is defending this country, defending its sovereignty and helping Ukraine’s very brave forces to do that,” the minister said.
How to emigrate from Ukraine to Canada
Canada accepts 280,000 new immigrants a year through three paths – employment, family and refugees. Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk said that Canada is shifting its focus to its Express Entry program, which is skills-based immigration. “Canada is always looking for qualified workers from Ukraine or any other country in the world,” Waschuk said. Under this program, Canadian employers review applications submitted for immigration and pick the winners, who are then eligible for visas and permanent residency, Waschuk said. Waschuk said that Canada is not looking to drop its visa requirement for Ukrainian visitors anytime soon, but like the United States, has lengthened the duration of multiple entry tourist visas to 10 years.
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander speaking at the International Support for Ukraine Conference in Kyiv on April 28. (UNIAN)