04/22/2014 11:22 EDT | Updated 06/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Russian ambassador Georgiy Mamedov to address Ukraine conflict

Russia's ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, will address the conflict in Ukraine and Crimea from the Russian perspective in a speech to the Empire Club in Toronto today. will carry it live starting at 12:45 p.m. ET.

The speech will come the same day U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden warned Russia that "it's time to stop talking and start acting" to reduce tension in Ukraine.

The crisis dates back to last November, when then President Viktor Yanukovych reversed a pro-EU trade deal. Tensions boiled over in February when Yanukovych cracked down on protesters and he was ousted. He has taken refuge in Russia, the country that annexed Ukraine's Crimea region.

Mamedov has been a diplomat since 1972 and has extensive experience in North America. He spent several years in Washington in the 1970s and early 1980s, and has served as Russia’s ambassador to Canada since 2003.

In the 1990s and the early 2000s, he was his country’s chief interlocutor with the United States on such subjects as NATO, arms control and Kosovo. During that time, he was Russia’s deputy minister of foreign affairs.