‘Canadian troops in Ukraine could help train far-right extremists’

Ukraine's voluntary militia called the Azov Battalion (Reuters/Marko Djurica)
It is impossible for Canadian military personnel in Ukraine to weed out far-right militants when training, as some of the groups have been absorbed into the military, James Bissett, former Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria told RT.

RT:The Canadian government seems confident that it can weed out far right extremists from the troops they will be training. Do you share that optimism?

James Bissett: That is of course nonsense. They will not be able to do that because some of the extreme militia like the Azov Battalion and others that we’ve seen on your screen are being incorporated into, or absorbed into, the Ukrainian army, into the National Guard. How are Canadian trainers going to make those distinctions between who are good guys and who are bad guys? They simply won’t be able to and I don’t think they are going to be trying very fastidiously to make that kind of identification.

In addition to that we have given Ukraine up to now $500 million and that money is not accountable. So we have no idea how it will be spent. It is another indication of the old saying: ‘It is inherently unwise to get involved into a civil war’. And now we stepped out and got involved in one. It is a provocation to Russia and it is unnecessary aggressive move, and bodes ill for the second Minsk peace agreement.

READ MORE: Canada to send troops to Ukraine ‘in non-combat role’ - report

RT:What could the consequences be for Ukraine, if foreign military advisers are not thorough enough in choosing trainees?

JB: If the training is effective and that is debatable... If it is effective, they will be improving the competence of these extreme groups and I think that is unwise thing to do. Not only in terms of ongoing civil war, but making it possible for the fighting and the bloodshed to continue.

RT:Why are they doing it?

JB: They are doing it to keep NATO viable. George Keenan, one of the former US ambassadors to Moscow, has said that if the Soviet Union should collapse the Americans would have to re-create a new Soviet Union almost immediately or the US economy would collapse. That is one of the primary reasons we are seeing Poland getting into contract for Tomahawk missiles with the Americans, the Latvians, the Lithuanians all beefing up their military. Who has profited from that? Certainly not anyone who would like to see some stability and peace in the world.