Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

August 14, 2008 19:41 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Cancellation of a Planned Norad Military Exercise With Russia

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2008) - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today:

"In light of the current situation in Georgia, and after consultation with our American allies, we agreed that it would be inappropriate to go ahead with Exercise VIGILANT EAGLE, a planned combined NORAD-Russia military exercise that was scheduled to begin August 20, 2008.

We will assess participation in future such exercises as the situation evolves.

The Government of Canada's position on hostilities in Georgia was clearly stated by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I join with them in calling for Russia to fully respect the terms of the cease-fire and respect Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We sincerely hope for an end to these hostilities, and for the safety of the civilian populations affected by this crisis."

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