23rd September 2023 – (Ottawa) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a series of significant measures on Friday, reaffirming Canada’s support for Ukraine in various sectors. The announcements came after a meeting between Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which discussions focused on military cooperation, economic partnerships, peace and security, and development assistance.
In an official press release published on the Prime Minister’s office website, Trudeau highlighted Canada’s commitment to providing long-term assistance to Ukraine. As part of this commitment, Canada pledged a new investment of 650 million Canadian dollars (487.5 million U.S. dollars) over a three-year period to supply Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles. This move aims to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities and support its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens.
Furthermore, Trudeau and Zelensky signed an updated version of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. This modernized agreement guarantees favourable market access terms for Canadian businesses involved in Ukraine’s economic recovery, fostering trade cooperation and enhancing bilateral economic ties between the two nations.
Canada and Ukraine also expressed their joint commitment to collaborating with international partners in addressing the issue of Russian assets. To this end, they agreed to establish a working group of eminent persons who will provide guidance and advice to decision-makers regarding the seizure and forfeiture of Russian assets, including those held by the Russian central bank.
In addition to the military and economic initiatives, Trudeau announced an additional 34 million Canadian dollars (25.5 million U.S. dollars) in development assistance. This funding will support four multi-year initiatives aimed at addressing mental health challenges, assisting small-scale farmers and revitalizing agricultural livelihoods, rehabilitating and reconstructing local infrastructure, and providing technical assistance for inclusive recovery efforts.
To exert further pressure on Russia, Trudeau also unveiled new sanctions targeting 63 Russian individuals and entities. These targeted measures serve as a clear message that Canada stands firmly against destabilizing actions and human rights violations perpetrated by the Russian government.
During his visit to Canada, President Zelensky delivered a compelling speech to parliamentarians, urging Canada and its Western allies to continue supporting Ukraine. His call for sustained assistance underscores the importance of international solidarity in ensuring Ukraine’s security, stability, and prosperity.