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Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly travels to Ukraine amid Russian troop concerns

OTTAWA – Canada’s foreign minister is visiting Ukraine amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.

Mélanie Joly is due to leave for Kiev on Sunday for a week-long trip that will include stops in Paris and Brussels.

His office says the trip is meant to underscore Canada’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of continued Russian aggression.

In Kiev, Joly is due to meet Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna.

She will also meet with some 200 Canadian soldiers who are in Ukraine as part of a mission to train the country’s security forces.

Joly will then travel to Paris to meet her French counterpart and to Brussels, where she is to meet her Belgian counterpart and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

“The buildup of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes security across the region,” Joly said Saturday in a statement announcing the trip.

“These aggressive actions must be deterred. Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and preserve the human rights and dignity of Ukrainians.

The statement said Joly “will stress the importance of collective security and the role it plays in maintaining Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 15, 2022.

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