Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Thursday in an interview to The Canadian Press, Censor.NET reports.
"We want to have a very positive and constructive role to play in our relationship with the United States bilaterally and also what we can do together in the world, including facing the challenge (of) Russia," Dion said
Dion steered clear of weighing in directly on comments Donald Trump made during the U.S. election campaign in which he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said that Canada and the U.S. have a shared interest in dealing with Russia's incursion into Ukraine.
Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in 2014 and its backing of separatist rebels in the country's east have prompted NATO to bolster its military footprint in eastern Europe.
"The NATO policy is deterrence and dialogue. Canada was alone to do deterrence without dialogue and we are correcting that," said Dion.
The Conservative opposition has criticized Dion and the Liberals for re-engaging with Russia, accusing it of "cosying up" to the "Putin regime." Former prime minister Stephen Harper avoided direct contact with Putin at international events during most of his last two years in office, as his government downgraded diplomatic contact.
Dion said after the U.S. election that Canada would maintain sanctions on Russia.
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