The agreements between Alberta and Tyumen Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug began in 1992, 1995 and 1997, respectively.
Alberta has ended three “sister region” agreements with parts of Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The agreements between Alberta and Tyumen Oblast, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug began in 1992, 1995 and 1997, respectively. Monday’s announcement is the first time Alberta has terminated relationships with sister regions.
“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s campaign of terror cannot be tolerated and the entire civilized world must use every tool to stop it. Ending this relationship with Russian states is just one small way that Alberta can register our disgust at the actions of the Russian Federation,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a press release.
Monday’s move is largely symbolic. Kenney’s office confirmed that there was no funding attached to the Russian agreements.
“They mostly entailed visits by respective officials. All proactive activity had previously ceased in 2014 following Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea,” the premier’s press secretary Justin Brattinga said in an email.
These types of agreements are meant to promote economic development and cross-cultural awareness.
They cover a broad range of topics, including co-operation on energy, environmental policy, forestry, cultural exchanges, infrastructure development, and information exchanges on public administration, such as helping train auditors to reduce corruption, Brattinga said.
This is not the first move Alberta has made in response to the invasion of Ukraine. The province has donated $5 million to the Ukrainian World Congress to buy defensive equipment for the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Force, $5 million to the Canada Ukraine Foundation for humanitarian aid and $1 million to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The province is also prioritizing applications for permanent residency made by Ukrainian nationals through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.