23 September 2023

Trudeau pledges Canada’s support for Ukraine and punishment for Russia

23 September 2023

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced several support measures for Ukraine, including military, economic and humanitarian assistance, while also pledging an additional show of diplomatic backing through steps intended to punish Russia over the war.

In a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Trudeau said: “We’re continuing to impose costs on Russia and ensuring that those responsible for this illegal, unjustifiable invasion do not benefit from it.”

Canada and Ukraine have agreed to establish a working group with G7 partners to study the seizure and forfeiture of Russian assets, including from the Russian Central Bank, Mr Trudeau said.

The country added 63 Russian individuals and entities to its sanctions list, including “those complicit in the kidnapping of children and the spreading of disinformation”, Mr Trudeau said.

Mr Trudeau added that Canada’s pledge to stand with Ukraine will include 650 million Canadian dollars (£393 million) in new military assistance over the next three years.

Canada will provide Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles built in London, Ontario.

Pilot and maintenance instructors for F-16 fighter jets, support for Leopard 2 battle tank maintenance, 35 drones with high-resolution cameras, light vehicles and ammunition are all part of the intended support package, the prime minister said.

The multiyear support also will include a financial contribution to a UK-led consortium delivering air defence equipment to Ukraine, he added.

Canada’s monetary support will continue into the 2024 fiscal year, while the governments also have signed a free trade agreement.

Other assistance for non-governmental organisations and Ukraine’s government will include measures to improve “cyber resilience,” rebuild local infrastructure and assist farmers.

Canada also plans to contribute funds for Ukraine’s national war memorial and money to increase the availability of mental health support at the appropriate time, he said.

Mr Trudeau said: “We stand here absolutely united in our defence of democracy and our condemnation of (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked, unjustified and unconscionable invasion of Ukraine.”

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