Canadian Ambassador Cmoc Champions Ukraine’s Security and EU Membership Ambitions

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The recently appointed Canadian ambassador to Ukraine, Natalka Cmoc, was gripped by familiarity when she arrived in Kyiv last month. An unsettling sight of many locals with missing limbs harkened back to her professional stint in Ukraine during the 1990s, a period marking the return of thousands of veterans handicapped due to the war in Afghanistan.

Cmoc affirmed a dedicated commitment to the nation during an interview from the Canadian Embassy, stating, “Ukraine is really close to my heart, and I want Ukraine to succeed.” She stepped onto Ukrainian soil in her new capacity on August 15, beginning a one-year term. Over her many years residing in the newly independent nation since 1991, she has had numerous opportunities to get acquainted with the community and local rhythms, the recent addition being the air-raid sirens.

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Cmoc’s role in Kyiv is twofold. Firstly, she will focus on bolstering Ukraine’s immediate security needs in the face of Russian hostility. Her modus operandi often involves diplomatic liaisons with her G7 counterparts in the state capital. Secondly, she will lend her unwavering support to initiatives aiming to obtain Ukraine’s membership in the European Union and NATO military alliance. This longer-term commitment involves supporting reconstruction, reforms, and humanitarian aid.

The ambassador’s responsibilities extend to synchronizing Ottawa’s efforts on various fronts and maintaining transparent communication between the Canadian and Ukrainian capitals. According to Cmoc, Ukraine’s counteroffensive is progressing, replicating a NATO military tactic aimed at minimizing casualties.

In addition to military aid, Canada is dedicated to nurturing a more democratic and environmentally conscious Ukraine. Ideally, by October, Cmoc hopes to have a fully-equipped team of 22 diplomats in position, each contributing to an array of efforts, ranging from mine-removal projects to empowering women in political and business roles.

The embassy’s staff will remain focused on forestalling an ecological and nuclear disaster at energy plants due to the ongoing conflict, by assisting Ukraine’s atomic-safety experts. Cmoc perceives the unprecedented reconstruction in the Kherson region, flooded due to dam destruction, as an early insight into Ukraine’s mammoth post-war reconstruction.

Expressing her ambitions for Ukraine beyond the war, the ambassador detailed how Canada and other allies are planning to assist locals with essential resources—water, energy, and farm equipment replacement. She added that they are also advising Ukraine on positioning itself as a viable destination for private-sector investment.

Cmoc’s impressive resume includes extensive experience in archeology and anthropology, intermittent rotations working in various federal departments in Ottawa, and a pivotal role in Canada’s peace and stabilization operations program. This wealth of experience undoubtedly qualifies her for her current role—an ambassador in a nation battling conflict and aggression.

Yet, the task hasn’t been easy. “It does impact you when you see all of the people who are missing limbs, arms and legs,” Cmoc confesses. For her, being entrusted with a country where she speaks the local language and has ancestral ties is a privilege and an honour. Despite minor points of contention, Canada consistently stands by Ukraine’s side.

The ambassador expressed Canada’s desire to contribute more aggressively to anti-corruption projects in Ukraine in anticipation of EU accession, saying with conviction, “We challenge Ukraine; we support Ukraine.”