Canada does not rule out sending arms to Ukraine

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly did not rule out the possibility of Canada sending arms to Ukraine as Russia amassing troops along the eastern border, noting that her cabinet colleagues are working closely on the issue. question.

In a CTV Question Period interview with host Evan Solomon aired on Sunday, Joly says she has had many conversations with her Ukrainian counterpart and Canada’s calls for a Russian de-escalation remain firm.

“We call on Russia, as well as all NATO allies to stop their military build-up alongside Ukraine … when it comes to dealing with the threat that Russia poses at this time, it is exactly why I had an important meeting on Friday with all the foreigners. NATO ministers because it is important as an alliance that we show strength, unity and determination, ”she said.

Pressed repeatedly on whether Canada would send weapons to help defend Ukrainian troops in the event of a Russian invasion, Joly only said her team was actively engaged in the issue.

“The most important thing right now is really to work with the Ukrainians to deal with their security threats. This is what we are going to do. My colleague Anita Anand, Minister of Defense, is also actively taking care of this file with allies… The security of Ukraine is the security of Europe and therefore it is the security of the world and of Canada ”, she declared.

In early December, US intelligence officials reported further details of Russia’s advances in the region, including plans to deploy around 175,000 troops along various points near the Ukrainian border.

On December 30, US President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States may impose new sanctions against Russia if it takes further military actions against Ukraine.

Putin asked for the call, the second among the leaders this month, ahead of scheduled talks between senior U.S. and Russian officials on Jan.9-10 in Geneva.

Joly also did not confirm or deny whether Canada would consider sanctions against the superpower.

As part of Operation UNIFIER, Canada sends a group of approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to Ukraine every six months, which is scheduled to stay there until March.

“The objective of the operation is to help train the security forces. This will help them improve and strengthen their capacities and capacities. CAF is coordinating its efforts with the United States and other countries that are similarly supporting. Military training is part of Canada’s overall support to Ukraine, ”a government website read.

With files from The Associated Press.

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Christi C. Elwood