OTTAWA – Conservative National Defence critic James Bezan today issued the following statement marking an important anniversary in Ukraine’s struggle for peace, democracy and freedom. “Today we remember the ‘Heavenly Hundred’, who tragically lost their lives two years ago while peacefully protesting their pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych and demonstrating their European aspirations. “Conservatives continue to condemn the illegal occupation of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine by the Putin regime following the Euromaidan protest. “Under Conservative leadership, Canada was a world leader in providing diplomatic, economic and military assistance to our Ukrainian allies. We made it extremely clear that we would continue to put pressure on Russia until they accepted Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. “Unfortunately, Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government is more focused on ‘normalizing’ relations with the Russian regime than stopping the flow of Russian arms and troops to the Donbass conflict in Eastern Ukraine. “Canada must continue to put pressure on the Russian Federation until it recognizes Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty. The Conservative Party’s stance remains the same, whether it takes five months or 50 years, we will never recognize the annexation of Crimea.”