Sask. Senator Andreychuk, back from Ukraine, calls Putin move 'frightening'

Saskatchewan Senator Raynell Andreychuk is back from a tour of Ukraine, as part of a delegation of Canadian officials and Ukrainian-Canadian leaders, and is expressing concern about the latest developments involving Russia and the semi-autonomous Crimea.
Armed men patrol at the Simferopol airport in the Crimea region. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Saskatchewan Senator Raynell Andreychuk is back from a tour of Ukraine, as part of a delegation of Canadian officials and Ukrainian-Canadian leaders, and is expressing concern about the latest developments involving Russia and the semi-autonomous Crimea.

"What is absolutely frightening, at the moment, is the intervention of Putin into Crimea," Andreychuk told CBC Radio host Craig Lederhouse Monday. "This is unacceptable."

Andreychuk noted that many players in the international community have been urging Putin to reconsider the move, as has Canada.

"It's time to modernize, not look back," she said. "I would appeal to President Putin and everyone in Russia to play a different card than they're playing now. It is a dangerous one."

Andreychuk said the delegation expressed support for the interim government and urged leaders to establish a broad-based government that recognized diversity.

"There was a plea to look at the diversity, to really look at Ukraine - not in the sense of looking at divisions, but how can you strengthen all parts," Andreychuk said. "[Leaders] are going to have to reach out and convince people that it will be in the best interests of all Ukrainians, not just the west, not just certain factions, that they're going to run a really clean and good government for all Ukrainians."

She added she was particularly moved by the ongoing determination of protesters, in Kyiv.

"To see the protesters still there and they're not going to give up ... until they are absolutely certain that the government changes for the better," she said.

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