May 22, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Canada and Ukraine share a special friendship based on strong people-to-people ties and a close defence relationship. Canada is committed to supporting Ukraine as it takes the necessary steps to secure its future as a stable, democratic, and prosperous country.
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded a successful trip to Ukraine, where he represented the Government of Canada at President Zelensky’s inauguration. Minister Sajjan held a bilateral meeting with the new President, and reiterated Canada’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression.
While in Ukraine, the Minister commemorated the victims of the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-1933, a systemic and horrific genocide that took the lives of millions of innocent Ukrainian women, children, and men by starvation.
Minister Sajjan also met with Canadian Armed Forces’ members deployed on Op UNIFIER, and thanked them for their excellent work in delivering military training and capacity building to the Ukrainian security forces.
“It was an honour to meet President Zelensky for the first time. I look forward, along with my colleagues across the Government of Canada, to working with him and his administration to continue building a more stable and prosperous Ukraine. I was also happy to visit with the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, who never cease to impress me with their hard work and dedication to Canada’s missions both at home and abroad.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Canada continues to provide a broad range of assistance (development, financial, humanitarian, non-lethal military) to Ukraine, totaling more than $750 million since January 2014.
On March 18, 2019, Canada announced the renewal of Op UNIFIER, our military training and capacity building mission in Ukraine, until March 31, 2022.
Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada deploys approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine.
The Canadian Armed Forces supports the professional development of Ukraine’s defence and security forces through a range of training activities including combined arms training, military engineering, logistics, military policing, and medical training.
Since the start of the training in September 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces has trained over 11,000 Ukrainian defence and security forces members to be self-sufficient in their training delivery and in the conduct of military operations.
On March 15, 2019, Canada announced, in coordination with the European Union and the United States, new sanctions in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
From July 2 to 4, 2019, Canada will host the third Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto. The conference will bring together, among others, foreign ministers from the European Union, the G7 and NATO countries to support Ukraine and its people, in meeting their ambitious democratic and economic reform programme and Euro-Atlantic goals.