Ukraine’s interests, not Putin’s reputation, should guide global approach to ending war: Bob Rae

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Canada and other countries should not worry about providing Russian President Vladimir Putin with a way out to save face from war in Ukraine, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations has said.

In an interview on Rosemary Barton Live broadcast on Sunday, Bob Rae said the international community should instead focus on supporting Ukraine and allowing it to show the way to an eventual resolution of the war, nearly three months after the Russian invasion on February 24.

“It’s not going to be settled by the world without Ukraine. Ukraine is the country that has to make the decisions on how it’s going to move forward and how it’s going to fight these battles. And it’s not up to us to tell Ukrainians what to do,” Rae told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

Rae said Western commentators were wrong to constantly look for a way for Putin to save face.

“I think President Putin has to design his own exit strategy for his troops. He has to get them out of Ukraine,” he said.

WATCH | Canada’s Ambassador to the UN on the food crisis and resolving the war in Ukraine:

‘Whole UN’ working to tackle world hunger crisis: Bob Rae

Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton speaks with Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae, about the UN discussion on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing insecurity food around the world – and how Canada can help provide relief.

In recent weeks, Russia has changed its strategy in Ukraine. While the initial invasion was broad and apparently aimed at capturing the capital kyiv and forcing Ukraine’s surrender, its new approach is narrowly focused on securing territory in the east and south of the country, primarily in the areas around Crimea and the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

While Ukrainian troops pushed back Russian forces from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, Russian forces made slow progress in the Donbass region.

Rae said it appeared Russia’s goal was to cut off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, which Ukraine could not accept.

“No other country has the right to take their territory away from them, and no other country has the right to deny the reality of their existence,” he told Barton.

Other countries may consider NATO membership: Volker

Rae’s assessment was widely shared by Kurt Volker, the former US ambassador to NATO who also spoke with Barton in an interview that aired on Sunday.

“I don’t even understand the logic of suggesting that Putin needs to save face. This is an unprovoked aggression against a neighboring country. It needs to be stopped and reversed. And there is no opportunity to save face,” he said.

Volker, who also served as the United States’ special representative for negotiations around Ukraine from 2017 to 2019, said it would be a “totally inappropriate and unfair reward for aggression” for a ceasefire. fire leaves Russia in control of significant Ukrainian territory, but how far Ukraine pushes back is still a question.

WATCH | Former US Ambassador to NATO discusses NATO expansion:

More countries will try to join NATO after war: former US ambassador

Rosemary Barton Live speaks with former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker about Finland’s and Sweden’s historic demands to join the alliance, as well as how this expansion is a response directly to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Is it to return to the lines before February 24? Is it to take back all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea? These are things that I think we will have to judge along the way, and well sure it will be the Ukrainians who decide.”

US President Joe Biden this week signed a $40 billion US aid package for Ukraine, which includes both military and humanitarian assistance.

A separate diplomatic push was also underway this week as political leaders from Finland and Sweden traveled to Washington, DC, to garner support for their bids for NATO membership.

US President Joe Biden, center, flanked by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, right, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

Volker said he thought it was likely that initial Turkish resistance to the offers would be resolved, leading to significant expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. And he said he expected countries that have been left in a “grey zone” for several decades to also revive attempts to join the alliance in the face of Russian aggression.

Those countries could include Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, Volker said.

“If the strongest and most capable neutral countries with strong armies find that they think it is not safe to stay neutral, I think we have to go back and re-examine the question of membership from Ukraine to NATO as well.”

You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton Live on CBC Gem, CBC’s streaming service.

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