In a political landscape where most leaders are outspoken about their support of Ukraine and admonishment of Russia’s invasion, one voice from Quebec stands out with a take that goes against the grain.
In the afternoon on Friday, March 4, Quebec Green Party Leader Alex Tyrrell shared his thoughts on how Russia’s demands should be accepted on social media.
Russia’s most recent demands for a neutral and non-nuclear status for Ukraine, its demilitarization, its denazification, as well as the recognition of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk are reasonable demands that should be accepted by the Western countries and the Ukrainian government.
— Alex Tyrrell (@AlexTyrrellPVQ) March 4, 2022
According to Tyrrell, Russia’s reasonable demands include:
- Neutral, non-nuclear status for Ukraine
- Ukraine demilitarization and “denazification”
- And “recognition of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the sovereignty of the pro-Russian separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk, and Luhansk”
Tyrrell said that these are “reasonable demands that I believe should be accepted by the Western countries and the Ukrainian government.”
“I therefore call on the Canadian, American and NATO governments to stop sending arms to Ukraine and to support serious negotiations with Russia now to allow for an immediate deescalation and to save lives,” he wrote.
The stance Tyrrell took immediately caused a reaction.
Amita Kuttner, the Interim Leader of the Green Party of Canada, condemned Tyrrell’s comments and reiterated that Quebec’s Green Party bears no relation to the Green Party of Canada.
The @CanadianGreens strongly condemn comments about the war in Ukraine made by the leader of the Green Party of Quebec.
He has no official position in the Green Party of Canada and does not speak for us or represent us in any way.
We stand in solidarity with Ukraine.
— Amita Kuttner (@AmitaKuttner) March 5, 2022
Although Tyrrell said he condemns the Russian invasion and the violence “on both sides of the conflict as well as the diplomatic failure that led to this war,” many were quick to criticize his statement.
Hi Alex, I’m in Warsaw documenting the refugee crisis first-hand. Would you like me to arrange a Zoom meeting with weeping families arriving at the train station so you can explain to them that Russia’s invasion is very reasonable?
— Adam Zivo (@ZivoAdam) March 5, 2022
Claims of right-wing extremism and nazism in Ukraine do not appear to match with the fact that according to the Central Election Commission, Zelenskyy – who has Jewish heritage – won the election with 73.22% of the votes in 2019.
Tyrrell’s controversial take is a minority view, especially when the official government of Canada’s stance on the Russian invasion is clear.
And Canadians themselves are stepping up, showing support by donations to humanitarian aid organizations and even via Airbnb to get money directly to Ukrainian families.