Diplomacy

In August 1991 I joined Canada’s Department of External Affairs as a foreign service officer.  Over a total of six years at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, I saw Russia experiment with democracy and a market economy, as well as the terrible costs of corruption, financial crisis and two bloody wars in Chechnya.  I first met Vladimir Putin in 1995, when he was St Petersburg’s deputy mayor.  I was his liaison officer at the last G8 summit he attended in Canada, at Kananaskis – and have been appalled by his return to autocracy and illegal occupation of Ukraine.