Canada against Trump: Ottawa officially shaped a clear-cut course without the US

Author : Serhiy Sydorenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Foreign Minister of Canada, the Ukrainian-born Chrystia Freeland announced a new foreign policy and security strategy
16:57, 9 June 2017

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Chris Young/CP

Foreign Minister of Canada, the Ukrainian-born Chrystia Freeland announced a new foreign policy and security strategy.  Tuesday evening, the world learned about the future of Canada, Freeland presented it in the Canadian Parliament. Ukraine paid attention to her words about Russia - Freeland put Russia on a par with ISIS and North Korea.

Canada, for the first time in recent history, has officially declared that it:

- does not consider it necessary to adhere to US foreign policy;

- abandons the principle of relying on the defense capacity of the United States;

- believes that the current approach of States to their role in the world strengthens Russia and China;

- is trying to convince the US to return to the familiar world order.

Related: Canada won't lift sanctions from Russia until fulfillment of Minsk agreements, - Freeland

About Trump and without Trump

In her lengthy speech, Ms. Freeland has not even mentioned the word "Trump".

Clearly, the foreign minister avoided direct mentioning the president of a neighboring state, but she said a lot about him and the new policy of the US administration. After all, the name of United States Freeland has used at least a dozen times, and mentioned about the change of power in the neighboring country. By the way, Canada has only one neighboring state on the continent, and this only reinforces the evidence.

Canadians took the changes in the US in a quite unusual manner.

Related: Governor General of Canada signs Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Area Agreement

The whole world often finds that Trump’s slogan "America First" applies to US places in the world, the government of Canada believes the opposite. Christine Freeland recalled that recent events have shown - the White House is tired of the role of world leader. Moreover, it bothered the American voters too!

"Indeed, many of the voters in last year's presidential election cast their ballots, animated in part by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership. To say this is not controversial: it is simply a fact," she said.

Actually, this statement is a base of Freeland’s whole speech, and a new foreign policy strategy of the Canadian government. "The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course. For Canada that course must be the renewal, indeed the strengthening, of the postwar multilateral order," she explained.

Related: Canada and G7 support basis of international order and take Ukrainian side

But "going on without Trump" does not mean "insult Trump," and Ottawa is well aware of it. None of the statements of Ms. Freeland impossible cannot be said to be unfriendly to Washington. And the fact that she carefully avoided mentioning the name of "Trump" obviously has such purpose.

Canadian media stressed that Freeland criticized Trump, pointedly not mentioning him.

America is not the first

What was the tipping point in the relationship of Canada and the US, is currently unclear. Canadian media have suggested that the split between Trump and the rest of the summit was held at the G7 in Italy (when the US leader told others about intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement).

While there is every reason to assume that the incident with Trump at the G7 meeting was only the last straw in crowded barrel.

"The Liberal government’s decision to publicly question U.S. leadership echoes criticism last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said Europe has to take on a larger role on the global stage as Washington was no longer a reliable partner," The Globe and Mail wrote.

Reevaluating the foreign policy is an extraordinary event for the country. The majority of journalists and columnist support the government's intentions. Trump makes mad everyone, not just the government officials.

Related: Canada votes for law allowing to expand anti-Russian sanctions

The world must prepare for a post-American era.

"If Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland had one message for Canada in her speech to the House of Commons on Tuesday, it is that the world is now entering a post-American phase and Canada needs to figure out how to navigate it – and fast. Essentially, Ms. Freeland’s post-American world is one where the United States no longer seeks to lead or be a guarantor of the post-1945 global order,” the columnist Stephanie Carvin wrote.

Benefits for Russia, threat to the world

One more Canadian newspaper, Toronto Star, singled out the same signal from the Canadian government, "While Freeland called the United States the “indispensable nation” in the postwar world order, she suggested that those times may be coming to an end."

Because the changes are really important for Canada, Toronto Star published it as editorial, without the author's signature, reflecting the position of the entire editorial board.

Toronto Star suggested that the actions of the US administration are beneficial for the non-democratic states, even if the US does not put it on purpose.

Related: Ten American cities call for Trump’s impeachment

Once States withdraw from the role of a world leader, this place will try to take others.

This idea actually echoes the Freeland speech that explains Canada now have to radically revise defense policy and to increase the military budget.

By the way, the White House will accept this idea positively, because Canada is one of the outsiders for military spending in NATO, and Trump is frankly annoyed with this.

Almost the only comment in the address of Trudeau government's foreign policy, refers to a lack of specificity.

"Ms. Freeland has done very well to explain to Canadians where we are and where we need to go, but it is still not clear how we are going to get there. She has set goals, but foreign policy is about the means to achieve them," Stephanie Carvin noted.

Ukrainian factor

Of course, Ukraine was not the main theme of Chrystia Freeland’s speech, but the minister thought of us in the context of countering Russian aggression, and this is important.

"The democratic world has united behind Ukraine. The illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory by Russia is the first time since the end of the Second World War that a European power has annexed by force the territory of another European country. This is not something we can accept or ignore," she said.

Related: Make NATO great again: How Trump negotiated NATO military budget in Brussels

We can be sure: Canada does not allow for the possibility that a new, post-American world Russia gains the unofficial "post" of superpower.

Moreover, Freeland puts on the same level Kremlin regime and other manifestations of global evil.

"The dictatorship in North Korea, crimes against humanity in Syria, the monstrous extremists of Daesh, and Russian military adventurism and expansionism also all pose clear strategic threats to the liberal democratic world, including Canada," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, it declared Canada’s unconditional willingness to stand up for other NATO member states, including in Eastern Europe, in the event of an attack.

And this assurances is worth of real respect and gratitude on our part.

Related: Trump wanted to ease anti-Russian sanctions after inauguration

Related: Make NATO great again: How Trump negotiated NATO military budget in Brussels

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