Politics

Foreign affairs minister says Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unified the West

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unified western nations like never before and strengthened NATO's alliance, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Friday.

More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the country

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly told a crowd at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs that "Putin sought to divide the West and exploit our differences, but we are more united than ever." (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unified western nations like never before and strengthened NATO's alliance, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Friday.

Speaking to a crowd at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, Joly said "there's nothing like having one villain" to unite against.

"President (Vladimir) Putin sought to divide the West and exploit our differences, but we are more united than ever," she said.

She said the United States' strategy of declassifying intelligence about Russian troops on Ukraine's borders before the invasion worked to frustrate Moscow's ambitions.

"It helped to prevent the war for some time. And it helped Ukrainians get ready, particularly on the military side, but also (helped) us as governments to be ready for what was coming up," she said. 

"Also, it helped unite Europeans and North Americans on the issue, which was really important." 

Joly reiterated that the federal government is willing to bring in unlimited numbers of Ukrainian refugees and officials are looking at possible airlifts from neighbouring European countries to bring people to Canada. 

More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine over the past 23 days of the Russian invasion. 

Asked about U.S. intelligence and Russian propaganda in recent days that has hinted at the possibility of chemical or nuclear attacks in Ukraine, Joly said she is "very concerned" and that this war represents the biggest threat to world peace since the Second World War.

The minister also said social media companies need to do more to prevent propaganda and disinformation, which she said has been a key feature of this conflict.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now