Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Canada House during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He and the Canadians talked sports (mostly hockey) and he wished us all the best in our medal search. He hoped that Canada and Russia might meet in the Gold Medal Hockey Game.
We were very pleased that President Putin visited Canada House and the Canadians there gave him a pair of iconic Red Mittens, emblazoned with the red maple leaf. He held them high above his head and smiled.
A few weeks later, Putin has ordered his armed forces to invade a sovereign neighbour nation.
Mr. Putin, give back those mittens. You are not worthy!
I understand Mr. Putin's concern for the Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the Crimean peninsula. They've lived there for more than eighty years and now call the Ukraine their home. But I truly believe that there must be a better way to safeguard their interests than a Russian invasion! This is where Canada must insist that Vladimir Putin remove the Russian Armed Forces from the Crimea and hustle to the negotiation table to work this one out peacefully, without tanks.
In the meantime Mr. Putin, give us back those mittens!