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Canada to Ukraine: all military aid still on the table

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Canada to Ukraine: all military aid still on the table

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Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canada remains open to increased military aid to Ukraine amid growing tensions with Russia, a message she will convey to her Ukrainian counterpart during on a future trip to the country.

In a CTV Question Period interview that aired Sunday, Anand said the biggest contribution Canada can make to Ukraine right now is human resources, touting the government’s announcement last week to extend and to extend the UNIFIER operation.

“We have trained over 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers and our training in Ukraine has been universally recognized as important, especially among our NATO allies, for Ukraine’s stability and security,” she said. .

“So in terms of further aid, we are putting on the table non-lethal weapons [last] week, we put $120 million on the table for economic stability the week before and we will continue to discuss all the options when I meet with the minister [Reznikov] in the coming days.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last Wednesday a three-year extension to the military operation, which was set to expire in March 2022. The government said another 60 Canadian soldiers, in addition to the 200 already stationed there, will be deployed in the next days. .

The objective of the operation is to help train security forces.

The commitment also includes a shipment of non-lethal equipment, intelligence sharing and support to combat cyberattacks in response to escalating tensions on Ukraine’s western border where more than 100,000 Russian troops have gathered, raising concerns of an imminent invasion.

Ukraine has asked Canada for lethal weapons, among other demands, as a form of deterrence from a Russian attack.

Andrii Bukvych, Chargé d’Affaires at the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada, welcomed the government’s announcement on Wednesday, but pointed to a recent Abacus Data Poll it shows that a majority of Canadians are in favor of sending arms to Ukraine.

“We look forward to seeing the next strong steps in Canada before the Russian boots land on Ukrainian soil,” the statement said.

Asked if Canada would consider redirecting millions of dollars worth of military equipment originally intended for Kurdish forces in Iraq to Ukraine, Anand reiterated that all options remain on the table.

“We will continue to look at all options in the future. This is why I am traveling to Ukraine, to outline our support for Ukraine and to let them know that we remain steadfast in our support. at this time of unwarranted Russian aggression on their border,” she said.

Russia continues to deny claims of an imminent invasion and says troops are simply carrying out routine military drills.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CTV News Channel’s Power Play last Friday that if Russia encroaches further, the allies would be prepared to impose “tough sanctions”.

“There will be a high price to pay for Russia. Economic, diplomatic, financial sanctions agreed [upon] among NATO allies,” he said, adding that Ukraine would be ready to defend itself.

“Ukraine of course has a right to self-defense, this is enshrined in the UN charter and so we help it in different ways to enforce this right to self-defense.”

In addition to visiting Ukraine, Anand will travel to Latvia to meet with Canadian troops stationed there.

Canada to Ukraine: all military aid still on the table

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