The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:
“Thirty years ago today, Canada established diplomatic relations with Ukraine. Since then, our mutual commitment to strengthening the Canada-Ukraine friendship has never wavered.
“The history between our peoples has deep roots. For well over a century, Canada has been home to a strong Ukrainian diaspora, today totalling more than 1.3 million. Our shared values and warm people-to-people ties have supported three decades of strong bilateral collaboration.
“As a stalwart defender of Ukraine’s right to forge its own path, we have worked closely together to support Ukraine’s democratic reform process and build resilient institutions. This has never been more important than today.
“Canada is committed to safeguarding common interests with Ukraine such as gender equality, democracy, and the rules-based international order. We will also deepen our commercial links in support of Ukrainian and Canadian workers and businesses through the modernization of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, as announced today.
“Ukrainians have demonstrated immense resilience in the face of Russian threats and destabilizing actions. Canada is steadfast in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and we remain committed to a diplomatic solution.
“On January 26, Canada announced an extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ military training and capacity-building mission in Ukraine. This extension and expansion of Canada’s military presence in support of Ukraine will ensure that members of the CAF will continue to provide enhanced military training and mentorship to Ukraine’s security forces through to the end of March 2025. It was also announced that, in both Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, Canada would increase diplomatic resources critical for deterrence and de-escalation.
“Russia’s aggression has also impacted Ukraine’s economic stability. On January 21, Canada offered to provide a loan of up to $120 million to Ukraine – a testament to our ongoing commitment to Ukraine’s economic resilience and governance reforms.
“As Russian troops and equipment continue to amass in and around Ukraine, Canada reiterates its call for de-escalation and we encourage dialogue so that a peaceful resolution to the conflict may be found. Ukraine has the right to be whole, free, and secure. Now more than ever, Canada stands with the government and people of Ukraine.”