Canada to loan up to $120 million to Ukraine to support its economic resilience and development

Ukraine Banner. Image credit: Govt of Canada website

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Ottawa/CMEDIA: Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced jointly on Jan 21 that Canada has offered to provide a loan of up to $120 million to the Government of Ukraine to support the country’s economic resilience and governance reforms.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau was reported to say that the federal government is still assessing other requests for assistance from Ukraine, including appeals to extend and expand the Canadian military training mission UNIFIER, provide defensive weapons, and impose severe sanctions on any further Russian action.

“The recently launched diplomatic process offers Russia two options: they can choose meaningful dialogue or severe consequences,” Joly said in Brussels on Thursday where she was meeting with her European Union counterpart Josep Borrell.

“We, of course, appreciate the EU’s collaboration on many deterrence measures, including economic ones. Canada will be ready to take additional measures, particularly with respect to the financial sector.”

“Canada has also offered Ukraine a “technical assistance grant of up to $6 million to support the implementation of the loan,” with officials in talks about the terms of the sovereign loan and its rollout,” said a news release.

According to the federal government, this isn’t the first time Canada has loaned Ukraine money. In 2014 and 2015 a total of $400 million was provided and it was repaid with interest as of 2020,

The buildup of thousands of Russian troops at Ukrainian borders and concerns over Russian-based cyber attacks have prompted daily attention from NATO countries including Canada and the United States, despite claims from Russia that it has no intention of invading.

In a statement released Friday, the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada said that there has been a flurry of visits and bilateral calls and consultations with NATO member countries in recent days.

“We have hundreds of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles deployed along the Ukrainian border and in the occupied parts of Ukraine’s territory. Facing the risk of a further Russian invasion, we need to defend our land,” reads the statement.

Senior officials in this country, including Sajjan, Defence Minister Anita Anand, and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre, have been coordinating on Canada’s response.