What of a Future Canada-Russia Relationship?
By Zachary Paikin
  • Zachary Paikin
    Senior Editor of Global Brief,
    "Meeting Russia 2017" Alumnus
  • A fresh look at the current state of Russian-Canadian relations and the potential for cooperation between the two countries, primarily in the Arctic, is presented by a "Meeting Russia 2017" alumnus, Zachary Paikin, on the Global Brief.
"Very few analysts realize that the similarities between Canada and Russia go beyond easily observable features and extend into the realm of macro-level foreign policy and grand strategy"
Key points:

1. The only place where Ottawa imagines – if only periodically – cooperating with Russia is in the Arctic theatre, which is governed not by a bilateral but rather a multilateral logic that includes, most importantly, the Arctic Council;

2. Deteriorating trust between Moscow and Western capitals could soon turn the Arctic into a theatre of aggressive geopolitical behaviour, contrary to its current status as one where the international rule of law and international norms play a dominant role;

3. A bilateral parliamentary council on practices in federalism, featuring legislators from the different levels of government in both countries, could allow the Canadian and Russian political classes to learn from each other;

4. Canada and Russia share several important similarities when it comes to their respective positions in contemporary global affairs:

- The geographic and strategic positions of both countries on their respective continents is identical;

- Canada and Russia share an interest in avoiding the emergence of a logic of bipolar confrontation between the US and China in the Asia-Pacific region;

- Russia and, to a growing extent, Canada are both interested in pursuing multi-vector foreign policies.

5. A closer relationship with Moscow could allow Canada to play a greater role in shaping regional affairs in those theatres that are situated on Russia's borders – starting with Europe and China;

6. Canada, in keeping with its Cold War-era tradition of promoting peace between rival blocs, could lead the way in proposing, facilitating or supporting the creation of separate interstitial tendons between Europe and Russia, China and Russia, North America and Russia, and between both sides of the Pacific.

Read the full article on The Global Brief website.