The Canadian prime minister’s remarks come a day before the start of a contentious NATO summit in Brussels this week, and President Trump’s meeting with President Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Riga, Latvia, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for NATO to present a “clear and firm response” to Russia.
As justification, Trudeau cited Crimea’s unification with Russia, the Ukrainian crisis, as well as “actions elsewhere around the world, most notably on UK soil, in Salisbury,” in reference to the case of the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, which London blamed on Moscow without presenting any solid proof.
“We certainly hope that Russia will choose to become a more positive actor in the global sphere than it has chosen to be in the past years,” Trudeau said.
During his Latvia trip, Trudeau promised to extend Canada’s commitment to lead one of the four NATO rapid response battalions deployed in the country until 2023 and to boost the number of Canadian troops there from 455 to 540. “We are ready to support our allies while facing global threats to security,” he said.
Trudeau’s remarks come a day ahead of the annual NATO summit being held in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday. This year’s agenda is expected to include tense discussions about the defense commitments of US allies, which President Trump has repeatedly…