Cana­dian min­is­ter: Ukraine can seize new op­por­tu­ni­ties

Kyiv Post - - Business - BY I LYA TIMTCHENKO [email protected] Kyiv Post staff writer Ilya Timtchenko can be reached at [email protected] com

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)

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