Canada’s Harper Plans to Visit Ukraine Ahead of G-7 Summit

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit Ukraine ahead of Group-of-Seven meetings this week, his latest show of support for the country in its conflict with Russia.

Harper will visit Kiev on June 6 before traveling to Germany for the G-7 summit June 7 and 8, his office announced Monday during a photo opportunity in Ottawa with Ukrainian envoy Marko Shevchenko. More than 1.2 million Canadians are of Ukrainian descent, according to the 2011 census.

Canada has said it opposes what it calls Russian aggression in Ukraine, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea. At last year’s Group of 20 summit in Australia, Harper told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” according to an account made public at the time by Harper’s spokesman.

Canadian sanctions against Russia took effect 15 months ago, a response to what Canada’s foreign affairs department calls the “gravity of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Russia was also suspended last year from participation in G-7 meetings, then referred to as G-8 meetings.

After the G-7, Harper will visit Warsaw, Vatican City and Rome, with the trip ending June 11, his office said.

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