Mélanie Joly questioned about threats against Ukrainian staff at the embassy


OTTAWA — Mélanie Joly proposes that the Committee of Parliamentarians on National Security and Intelligence study allegations that Canada failed to heed warnings about the security of personnel recruited in Ukraine for its embassy in Kyiv before the Russian invasion .

The Minister of Foreign Affairs raised the possibility Thursday during her appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. MPs mostly focused on Canada’s decision to return a turbine for a Russian state-owned pipeline that supplies natural gas to Germany.

But The Globe and Mail wrote this week that in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Global Affairs Canada had received intelligence from the ‘Five Eyes’ coalition that Ukrainians working for Western embassies were probably on lists of people Moscow intended to hunt down.

Citing three unnamed diplomatic sources described as having direct knowledge of the situation, the daily reported that the ministry had ordered embassy officials in Kyiv not to release the information to Ukrainian employees, while Canadians were called back to Ottawa.

Ms. Joly told committee members on Thursday that she, her political staff and the department had no information on “kill lists” specifically targeting Canadian diplomats and locally hired personnel.

She assured that she will make herself available to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, made up of senators and deputies with the best security clearances, if they decide to take up the issue.

The Canadian Press has not independently verified the Globe and Mail information.

Ms Joly also told MPs that Canada had been “concerned” by intelligence, made public by the United States earlier this year, that Russia was planning to target some Ukrainians in an invasion.

Last February, days before Russia began its assault on Ukraine, media reported that the US government had ‘credible information’ about these threats and had warned the UN human rights chief .

“It is very important that we get to the bottom of this case, said Thursday Ms. Joly, in a heated exchange with Conservative MP Garnett Genuis. It’s something I take very seriously. »

Later on Thursday, in a statement on Twitter, Ms. Joly promised the Committee her support and collaboration if it were to study this question.

She also maintains that locally engaged employees in Ukraine “were kept informed of developments in the security situation and made decisions to ensure the safety of their families”. They were also informed of the different possibilities for immigrating to Canada, says the Minister.


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