The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today welcomed the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to Canada to showcase Canada’s ongoing solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s war of aggression.
The Prime Minister and the President held a bilateral meeting where they discussed Ukraine’s military, financial, development, humanitarian, and other needs, now and into the future. Both leaders reaffirmed the two countries’ partnership and advanced the development of shared long-term security commitments, discussed efforts to rebuild Ukraine, and highlighted the close ties between our peoples and shared values that unite our countries.
The Prime Minister announced Canada is shifting our approach to provide multi-year assistance and ensure Ukraine has the predictable support it needs for long-term success. He announced new military, economic, peace and security, and development assistance and investments for Ukraine, and the leaders signed agreements to strengthen our economic ties.
Across the country, Canadian businesses are stepping up and supporting Ukraine. This evening in Toronto, President @ZelenskyyUa and I spent some time with business leaders who are doing just that. pic.twitter.com/0baifALa2h
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 23, 2023
As part of this new multi-year approach, and to continue building on our military support for Ukraine, Prime Minister Trudeau announced:
- A new investment of $650 million over three years to supply Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles, built by Canadian workers in London, Ontario.
He also announced the following allocation as part of the $500 million in funding for military assistance to Ukraine announced while he was in Kyiv in June 2023:
- $76 million for 35 high resolution drone cameras and in-service support;
- $30 million for the Leopard 2 Maintenance and Service Centre in Poland;
- Support for the Joint Coalition on F-16 Training to support the training of Ukrainian pilots;
- A large package of NATO-standard small arms ammunition; and
- $33 million for a United Kingdom-led partnership that is delivering high priority air defence equipment to Ukraine, including air defence missiles to help Ukraine defend against Russia’s missile and drone attacks, as announced earlier this week.
To support Ukraine’s economy so it can withstand Russia’s unjustifiable invasion and continue supporting the people of Ukraine, now and into a future beyond Ukrainian victory:
- Canada will again provide substantial macro economic support in 2024;
- Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy signed the modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), which supports long-term security, stability, and economic development in Ukraine, while also ensuring high-quality market access terms for Canadian businesses participating in Ukraine’s economic recovery. This will create good, middle-class jobs in both of our countries.
To maintain pressure on the Russian regime and those responsible for its war of aggression:
- Prime Minister Trudeau announced new sanctions targeting 63 Russian individuals and entities complicit in the illegal transfer and custody of Ukrainian children, generating and disseminating disinformation and propaganda, as well as entities in Russia’s nuclear sector already sanctioned by our international partners; and
- Canada and Ukraine have agreed to work with international partners to establish a working group of eminent persons to provide advice to decision makers on the seizure and forfeiture of Russian assets, including Russian central bank assets.
To support peace, security, and stabilization for Ukraine, the Prime Minister announced an additional $8.3 million as follows:
- $4.3 million to strengthen nuclear security measures at the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, replacing equipment destroyed or stolen during Russia’s short-lived occupation of the site in 2022;
- More than $1.7 million in new funding for Canadian NGO eQualitie to continue its work to enhance the cyber resilience of Ukrainian civil society to cyber attacks;
- Approximately $2 million in new funding for Canadian NGO Parliamentary Centre to continue providing technical assistance and support to the Ukrainian Parliament; and
- Approximately $250,000 for Ukrainian NGO Building Ukraine Together (BUR) to support a community-level youth engagement and recovery initiative.
In line with the priority needs of Ukraine, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an additional $34 million in development assistance for four multi-year initiatives supporting:
- mental health
- small-scale farmers and restoration of agricultural livelihoods
- local infrastructure rehabilitation and reconstruction
- technical assistance for inclusive recovery
Today’s announcements bring Canada’s total committed support to more than $9.5 billion in multifaceted assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of 2022, as well as the recent announcements made by the Prime Minister in July to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE, part of NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern Europe.
Russia must withdraw its troops immediately, completely, and unconditionally. Canada supports Ukraine’s current initiative for a just and sustainable peace based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and commends the key principles of Ukraine’s 10 Point Peace Formula. A peace settlement must defend the UN Charter, be based in international law, and preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Peace must be based on respect for the facts and the rules.
Canada continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s war of aggression, both bilaterally and at the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), NATO, the G7, the G20, and other multilateral forums. Canada will always stand with Ukraine and Ukrainians as they continue to defend their freedoms, independence, and democracy.
“Canada will stand with Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes. As Ukrainians continue to fight for their freedom and their democracy, our support will be unequivocal until they are victorious. Slava Ukraini!”
- The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, Mary Ng for the extended bilateral meeting.
- President Zelenskyy was accompanied by the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
- During his visit to Canada, President Zelenskyy delivered an address to Parliament to thank Canada for its continued support. He will travel to Toronto to participate in a business roundtable with Canadian businesses and an event with Canadians, including the Ukrainian-Canadian community.
- While in Ottawa, the First Lady of Ukraine engaged directly with researchers serving veterans and their families during a visit at the Royal Ottawa Hospital and the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families, where she was joined by Minister of Veterans Affairs, Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Ya’ara Saks.
- The sanctions announced today build on 59 rounds of sanctions imposed by Canada since the start of Russia’s full-scale, unjustifiable invasion in February 2022, bringing the number of individuals and entities sanctioned by Canada in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova to more than 2,700 since Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014.
- Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in addition to the $650 million announced today. This includes eight Leopard 2 main battle tanks, one armored recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more.
- Operation UNIFIER is Canada’s military training and capacity building mission in support of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. This mission was extended until March 2026 and has provided training to more than 38,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel, helping Ukraine restore its security and territorial integrity, and supports Ukraine’s broader defence reform objectives, advancing its Euro-Atlantic ambitions.
- In 2022, Canada’s merchandise exports to Ukraine totalled $150.2 million, and merchandise imports from Ukraine totalled $271.2 million, an increase of 19 per cent over the previous year.
- With these newly announced resources, Canada’s total committed development assistance to Ukraine since January 2022 is over $171.7 million to continue supporting key priorities in Ukraine. The new funding comes from Global Affairs Canada’s reference levels. Approximately $9.3 million of today’s announcement is part of additional development assistance announced in Budget 2023.
- Since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, Canada has welcomed more than 175,000 Ukrainians and their family members. We are helping Ukrainian families find a safe, temporary home and have put in place support services for their arrival.