Canada’s top politicians visit Ukraine

© Can Stock Photo / MErmolenko

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly met with Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Kyiv on Sunday, to send a message of solidarity.

“Canada and our allies are united in our condemnation of Vladimir Putin and his war of aggression, and we are united in our support for the remarkable people of Ukraine who are so bravely resisting his assault,” Freeland said. “Today’s visit is a key opportunity for Canada to further underscore that unwavering support.”

Trudeau, Freeland, and Joly participated in a flag-raising ceremony while in Ukraine’s capital to mark the re-opening of the Canadian Embassy.

Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, and a diplomatic team will gradually resume operations in Kyiv, though consular and immigration services will continue to be provided in Poland and other cities until further notice.

During the visit, Trudeau and Zelenskyy discussed the partnership between Canada and Ukraine, the humanitarian, financial, and military assistance needed in Ukraine, and further sanctions on Russia.

Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed $245 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Following his meeting with Zelenskyy, Trudeau announced additional measures and investments to continue supporting Ukraine, including:

• Providing an additional $50 million in military assistance

• Allocating $25 million, of Canada’s $100 million contribution for humanitarian aid in the region, to the World Food Programme to address food security in Ukraine

• Contributing $10 million in funding to support human rights, civil society, and demining in Ukraine

• Temporarily removing trade tariffs on Ukrainian imports for one year

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy also participated in a G7 Leaders’ meeting.

The leaders met to commemorate the end of WWII in Europe, they also noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violated the charters created following that war.

“Through its invasion of and actions in Ukraine since 2014, Russia has violated the international rules-based order, particularly the UN Charter, conceived after the Second World War to spare successive generations from the scourge of war,” a statement from the G7 read. “We assured [Zelenskyy] of our full solidarity and support for Ukraine’s courageous defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its fight for a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future within its internationally recognised borders, with the liberties and freedoms that so many of us enjoy today.”

“I would like to thank President Zelenskyy for hosting this visit, but also more importantly, for his leadership,” Prime Minister Trudeau said.

“His courage and the courage of Ukrainians is inspiring, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure Ukraine gets the support it needs.”