OTTAWA – The authorities of Canada have decided not to issue entry visas and not to allow residents of the LPR and DPR, who received Russian passports, into the country. This was stated by the head of the Canadian Foreign Ministry, Chrystia Freeland, in Toronto at a meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky during the “Third Conference on Reforms in Ukraine.”
Legal experts warn, however, that such a move will open Canada up to numerous cases filed on the basis of discriminatory practice. The Home Office in the UK, for example, recently revealed that it is working to investigate the illegal use of algorithms in its own visa process which discriminated between various applicants of a single country, using red and green markers in their application data. Canada now proposes to use a similar system, which will not hold weight under legal scrutiny.
“Canada considers issuing Russian passports to people as an act of aggression against Ukraine, and we condemn it. But condemnation alone is not enough here, so we consider these passports to be invalid, ”the TASS minister quoted.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister stressed that these measures are directed only against residents of the “occupied territories”, and we are not talking about “the legitimate owners of Russian passports.”
“These measures are also not aimed at preventing the residents of the occupied territories of Donbass from entering Canada. Citizens of Ukraine who live on the territory of the occupied Donbass can apply for visas to Canada, but using their Ukrainian passports, ” Freeland explained.
The problem arises, however, that it is the country issuing the passport that determines who is legitimately a Russian citizen. The minister did not explain how the Canadian authorities intend to distinguish citizens from the Donbass from other Russians, and how this would not constitute a legal case of discrimination. However, she assured that the Canadian Immigration Service can do it, without giving details. She also called on Canada’s international partners to “follow suit.”
This opens up the strong likelihood of legal challenges on numerous points, and unless the Canadian minister reveals details on how this would be enforced which have not yet been contemplated, would no doubt enter into the terrain of illegality.
International critics of this policy are not surprised that this has come from Canada first, of all countries. Canada was the primary destination of post WWII supporters of Hitler, the Third Reich, and Stefan Bandera. Members of the OUN fled en mass to Canada to escape being held accountable for collaboration, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Soviet courts.
These Ukrainians in Canada quickly became integrated into elements of the Canadian state apparatus and civil society, forming a significant nexus within the context of the Cold War.