After Canada issued new economic sanctions on Wednesday in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin responded with the diplomatic equivalent of “yeah? Well screw you too.”
The Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on Thursday a ban on agricultural imports from Canada, the U.S., Australia, Norway, and the E.U. Like Putin’s shirtless horseback hunting trips, this move was largely symbolic, a jeer of “come at me bro” to the west. Russian consumers are already facing spiked prices in meat and other products, while Russian exports make up 1.3% of Canada’s total exports, allowing Canada to seek other markets.
Ever since the crisis in Ukraine started last March, the world has been forced to take Putin a bit more seriously. But that doesn’t mean the crackpot dictator is still incapable of his self-indulgent and absurdist ways, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quick to point out: “while these actions only demonstrate Putin’s increasing desperation, Canada will continue to monitor developments closely and ensure that information on any Russian economy measures which target Canada is relayed to Canadian industry as required.”
But Canada won’t remain totally unaffected by these sanctions. Russia is the third largest market for Canadian pork, so a blow to that industry is expected. You see Russia, this is a mutual arrangement. We need you as much as you need us.
The truth is Putin, Canada and Russia are more alike than you know. In fact you’re kinda like our evil twin. We’re the only two countries in the world that are mostly vast frozen wastelands, surely that’s something we can bond over. Yeah maybe we prefer our prime minister to be fully clothed when fishing (though I can’t say the same about a certain leader of the Liberal party) or just you know actually doing his job instead of wrestling tigers or whatever it is you do. You can’t even afford these sanctions right now. Canadian meat imports make up 3.8% of Russian agricultural imports, and throw in the rest of the countries in the white and western club and you’re really going to be feeling the consequences. On the bright side maybe Russians can lose weight and lower their cholesterol without all this pork around all the time.
We understand you owned Ukraine for most of your history and the breakup of the Soviet Union has been tough on you for the past 23 years, but times have changed. Hey, 200 years ago we fought with the U.S. over borders and it took some time, but we got over it. Now we’re working together to put sanctions on you. Imagine that future, you and Ukraine working together to sanction Canada and the U.S., isn’t that your dream Vlad?
So Russia, do the right thing. Step away from the Ukraine, we’ll remove our sanctions, you can remove your sanctions, and we’ll have a celebratory game of hockey.