Canada did not commit to its next steps in Ukraine as diplomats in the U.S., and the U.K. pull out

Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Facebook page

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Ottawa/CMEDIA: Amid the ongoing buildup of Russian troops at the borders, the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) withdraw embassy and diplomatic staff from Ukraine, but Canadian officials refused to say whether their diplomats will follow suit.

Both the U.S. State Department and the British government acknowledged over the weekend that some embassy staff and their families were being withdrawn in response to the growing Russian threat.

Asked Monday if Canada was planning to do the same, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to commit.

We are following the situation in Ukraine extremely closely… There are many contingency plans in place,” Trudeau reportedly said. “The safety of Canadian diplomats and their families is of course paramount, and we will continue to be there for Ukraine and ensure the safety of Canadians and Ukrainians.”

Trudeau said that Canada will make a decision around pulling out Canadian staff based on “safety on the ground” as it relates to the concerns of a Russian invasion.

“Global Affairs Canada takes the safety and security of our personnel, their families, and our missions overseas very seriously. Global Affairs Canada works with its missions in the development of prudent contingency planning for any type of emergency situation, and continuously monitors the security situation at its missions abroad,” said spokesperson Patricia Skinner in an email.

While going into virtual cabinet retreat, Trudeau was also asked if the Canadian government was any closer to answering Ukraine’s calls for Canada to expand operation UNIFER, provide defensive weapons, and impose more sanctions on Russia.

“I’m sure there will be more announcements to come,” the prime minister said.

Asked how much longer Canada needs to weigh Ukraine’s other requests, Trudeau said it’s going to be a topic of discussion at cabinet meetings over the next few days.

“This is something that matters deeply to us,” he said.