Canada promises to expand training mission in Ukraine, and provide non-lethal aid

Representative image of Military aid to Ukraine. Image credit: Pixaby

#Ukraine; #Canada; #fMilitaryAid; #DeploymentOfMoreTroops; #Russia; #NATO; #EU

Ottawa/CMEDIA: On Jan 26, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will expand its military training mission in Ukraine, deploy 60 more troops to Ukraine in the coming days,  provide intelligence sharing, support in combating cyberattacks, and ship non-lethal equipment to help it face the threat of Russian invasion.

 This announcement was made by Trudeau following a cabinet meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly, and Defence Minister Anita Anand.

“We continue to call on Russia to de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue until a peaceful, diplomatic solution is reached,” said the prime minister.

“The direct threat of Russian invasion, to take control of Ukraine, to take away the choice of Ukrainian people to choose their future is something that concerns not just Ukraine, not just Eastern Europe, but all of us who cherish democracy.”

A group of 200 Canadian Armed Forces members is sent to the country every six months.

In the event of expiry of the operation to train Ukrainian armed forces and the national in March, Trudeau said on Jan 26 following a three-day cabinet retreat that additional troops could be sent if necessary and the size of the mission contingent could be increased to 400.

“The biggest contribution that Canada can make to Ukraine right now is people. We have trained, our soldiers have trained over 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers. We should not underestimate the importance of this training mission,” said Anand who is scheduled to travel to Ukraine and Latvia in the coming days to visit with Canadian troops.

Last week, a $120 million loan to Ukraine was announced by the Canadian government, and also offered a “technical assistance grant of up to $6 million to support the implementation of the loan.”

Up to $50 million more will go towards development and humanitarian aid, Government announced Wednesday.

Canada’s commitment of  $340 million is in response to escalating tensions at the western Ukraine border where a gathering of approximately 100,000 Russian troops has raised concerns of an invasion.

Ukraine had repeatedly expressed a desire to join the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO, a non-aggressive European and North American defense alliance promotes peace and stability as well as safeguards the security of its members.

Russia reportedly does not want Ukraine to be a member of either NATO or EU as this will threaten Russia’s power and influence in the region.

Russia threatened to retaliate if Ukraine becomes a member of either EU or NATO.

The Canadian government, in the meantime, has committed coordinated sanctions with allies, should an attack occur.

The prime minister did not indicate on Jan26 that his government is planning additional sanctions against Russia.