Canadian Arctic convoy vets caught in new cold war between Ottawa and Moscow | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Canadian Arctic convoy vets caught in new cold war between Ottawa and Moscow

OTTAWA - Hundreds of Canadian veterans who braved the North Atlantic to deliver Second World War supplies to Russia appear to be caught in the middle of frosty relations between Ottawa and Moscow.

The sailors, many of them from the merchant marine, are eligible for the Arctic Star, a medal created by the British government in 2012 to honour those who risked their lives on the treacherous convoys to Murmansk and Archangel, in Russia.

But in order for Canadians to wear the decoration, the Governor General must approve it.

The veterans, many in their late 80s and 90s, have been waiting more than a year for that permission and some believe the delay stems from the rapidly deteriorating relations over the crisis in Ukraine.

Paul Bender, an Ottawa resident who enlisted in the merchant navy at age 15 and sailed the Arctic convoys, says recognizing veterans who aided the Russians seven decades ago could be politically embarrassing for Conservatives who've been talking tough against Vladimir Putin's government.

He says the recognition of those who risked their lives in the war should be separate from the political circumstances of today.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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