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You can see other videos from our team by tapping here. Try refreshing your browser, or The fact that Canada is a NATO laggard and hasn't met its commitments to spend two per cent of GDP on defence for years has risen to the top of Washington's agenda. Rachel Poynter, deputy secretary for Mexico and Canada for the U.S. Department of State, underscored the issue after her keynote speech at the recent Canada-U. S. Law Institute conference in Cleveland. Anti-COVID measures, the opioid crisis, critical materials, logistics and defence modernization were among the bilateral issues she listed as important going forward. She said that this is front- and centre and we want to continue the conversation with Canada. Russia's war has divided the world into three main blocs: pro-Ukraine, pro-Russia and fence-sitters. The United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin's murderous invasion and demanding the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops reveals the new geopolitical map. Of 193 members of the UN General Assembly, 141 voted to condemn Russia, five voted against and 35 abstaining.
The four countries on Russia's side were Syria, Eritrea, North Korea and Belarus. Europe, most of the western Hemisphere, Japan, South Korea, Australia, most of Southeast Asia and half of Africa voted to demonise Russia. Many countries that have voted for an immediate Russian withdrawal have not publicly called out Putin or Russia since then. The 35 abstainers were led by China, India and Pakistan, 17 African countries, including South Africa, two Middle Eastern countries, Iran and Iraq, former Russian vassals Armenia and Mongolia and a few from Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Many countries have refused to impose severe financial and energy sanctions to match those imposed by the United States, Canada and Europe. Some are ambivalent about American policy while others play one superpower off against another to gain energy, weaponry or geopolitical favours.
This is India's game. It has had a special relationship with Russia to counter the special relationship between China and Pakistan, but is also a member of the Quad, a quasi-military intelligence organization founded by Japan, Australia and the United States. The vote by Brazil to condemn the invasion at the UN was contradicted by its president Jair Bolsonaro, who declared that he is in solidarity with Russia because he relies heavily on trade with China and fertilizers from Russia. A couple of weeks ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned of the dangers of neutrality for China. Yellen said at an Atlantic Council event on April 13 that "we hope we don't end up with a bipolar system." We need to work hard with China to avert such an outcome. China has benefited enormously from being part of a global system, rules-based, and this has promoted Chinese economic growth. We should try to preserve the best features of the system, which has also benefitted the U.S. and allies.