Baird accuses Putin of 'old Soviet-style' tactics

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird discusses the latest developments in the Ukraine at the Metro...

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird discusses the latest developments in the Ukraine at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on March 2, 2014. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 9:04 PM ET

OTTAWA - Canada's war of words with the Russians escalated Sunday with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird expressing "revulsion" at President Vladimir Putin's "old Soviet-style" tactics to bully its Ukrainian neighbour.

Canada and much of the Western world have condemned Russia's decision to move troops into Crimea, saying the invasion flagrantly violates international agreements and threatens peace and stability in the region, including Europe.

"Ukraine's sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future," Baird told reporters in Toronto after returning from Kiev, where he expressed support for provisional leaders after President Viktor Yanokovych was chased from office.

"President Putin must immediately withdraw his forces to their bases and refrain from further provocation or dangerous actions," he said. "What we want to do is de-escalate this situation and we want Putin and Russia to back down from their actions."

Besides telephone diplomacy among world leaders, Canada's loudest response to Russia has been to recall its ambassador in Moscow for talks.

Like the U.S. and other outraged G7 partners, including Britain and France, Canada has also announced last night it will boycott June's G8 summit in Sochi - home to the recent Winter Games.


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