Justin Trudeau in the Commonwealth: Russian elephant in the room

Justin Trudeau’s first stop: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. Groupings of the remaining 54 countries of the British Empire rarely attract attention. But this time the situation is different.

The Commonwealth is deeply divided over the war in Ukraine. Some countries in the Commonwealth have a direct pro-Russian stanceFrederick Merand, a professor of political science at the University of Montreal, explained.

About 20% of Commonwealth countries abstained from condemning Russia’s invasion in a UN vote in the spring.

List of countries withheld:

South Africa, Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania

Countries that did not vote:


Developing African countries, but also big players like South Africa, India and Pakistan, refuse to get involved for fear of damaging their diplomatic or economic relations with Russia.

The backstage of the Commonwealth Summit will therefore be a scene of discussion and compromise to try to persuade some of them to change sides.

Prime Minister Trudeau will work very hard to bring these countries togetherA senior official in the Trudeau government said. We will have open private conversations around the table.

How to plan better rent in Canada?

Solve the food crisis

Russia has stopped exporting millions of tons of grain to Ukraine. A real war crimeJoseph Borrell believes the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.

Russia’s war takes South Africa hostage Due to rising food prices, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech to the African Union earlier this week.

However, some Commonwealth countries sensitive to Russian propaganda believe that the food crisis is the West’s fault for imposing sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Ukraine is called Europe’s “bread basket” and is a major exporter of wheat, barley, sugar beets and other cereals, as well as sunflower oil.

Photo: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

For Western countries, the food crisis translates into only modest inflation. But for some countries in the Middle East or sub-Saharan Africa, it could mean famine.Refers to Frederick Merand.

Justin Trudeau therefore wants to use some of his time at the Commonwealth Summit to attract countries Those who are small, fragile, weakAnd those who feel it Their access to food security, gasoline, natural gas and food is decliningA senior government official said.

Western Commonwealth countries want to provide financial and humanitarian assistance to help these developing countries fold Creating resilience to climate change and food security and contributing to sustainable developmentThe Canadian representative said.

An enchanting operation that will continue from June 26 to 28 in Germany’s G7, the second leg of the tour

G7, Russia and developing countries

Food security will be one of the main issues of G8. In addition, the group of seven industrialized nations has invited India, South Africa, Argentina and Senegal for talks. Of the four countries, only Argentina has condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The G7 has invited India, South Africa, Argentina and Senegal to discuss food security.

Photo: AFP / Damien Meyer

Senegal is a country that has demands from both the West and Russia at the moment.Professor Frederick Merand observed.

Furthermore, just before the G7 summit, China hosted a meeting of emerging nations with Russia, India, South Africa and Brazil. To counteract the tendency of western countries to form small circles And fight against American hegemonyBeijing says.

The G7 countries therefore feel an urgent need to show that they accept the demands of the developing countries, which are strongly indulged by Russia and China.

Canada wants to take advantage of the G7 to leverage its expertise in agriculture to bring some relief to the food crisis in these countries.

Canada can share its talents in grain transportation and storage. We have the best experts in the world for this type of supply, despite long distances and hot or cold weather.A senior Canadian diplomat said.

But according to Benoit Hardy-Chartrand, an associate researcher in the Raoul-Dundurand chair and a professor at Temple University in Tokyo, the West’s fascinating operation has not been won before.

These countries are not necessarily ready to sever their existing ties with Russia, which makes it difficult for Canada and other Western players to fold them.Professor continued.

Fault line about Russia against which even against alliesNATO Not immune

Its cracksNATO

The summit will be the last leg of Justin Trudeau’s tourNATO Madrid, 28 to 30 June. The crucial question of further military and humanitarian action in the aftermath of the Ukraine war is currently dividing the members of the Atlantic Alliance.

The Turkish president opposes the membership of Finland and Sweden because he thinks the two countries welcome “terrorists” from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of the importance of not insulting Vladimir Putin, thus opening the door to a negotiated settlement that would allow Russia to retain part of its occupied territory in Ukraine.

A position that, contrary to the wishes expressed by Ukraine, is supported by Canada, which seeks to protect the integrity of its territory.

OTAN par rapport à comment gérer la Russie à moyen et à long terme”,”text”:”On commence à avoir certaines différences au sein de l’OTAN par rapport à comment gérer la Russie à moyen et à long terme”}}”>We’re starting to have some differencesNATO About how to manage Russia in the medium and long termStephanie von Hlatki is a professor of political science at Queen’s University.

The big challenge of this meeting is to ensure the unity of the alliesBoth additional aid will be sent to Ukraine and on the political position of the alliance, the professor added.

To this end, it opposes the application of Sweden and Finland for Turkey’s membershipNATO Will form another test of the solidarity of the members of the Atlantic Alliance.

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