The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Ukrainian Independence Day:
“Today, we join the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian communities in Canada and around the world to mark the 32nd anniversary of Ukrainian independence.
“On this day in 1991, Ukraine declared its independence, solidifying its rightful place in the international system as a free and sovereign nation. Canada was the first Western country to recognize this fact, and our countries have been close friends and strong partners ever since. Today, as the people of Ukraine continue to defend their country against Russia’s brutal and unjustifiable war of aggression, we reaffirm our commitment to stand with them as they fight for our shared values of peace, freedom, and democracy. When I was in Kyiv this past June, I delivered this message of support from Canadians to the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people are the tip of the spear that is determining the future of the 21st century, and Canada will support them for as long as it takes.
“Together with our allies and partners, Canada will continue to do everything possible to support Ukraine until its territorial integrity is re-established. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Canada has committed more than $8.9 billion in multifaceted support to Ukraine, including financial, military, humanitarian, security, and stabilization aid, as well as development assistance. We have also trained more than 37,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces through Operation UNIFIER, and welcomed more than 170,000 Ukrainians fleeing Putin’s violence, providing them with the support they need to adjust to life away from home.
“The bond between our peoples is unbreakable. Canada is proudly home to 1.3 million people of Ukrainian descent, which is the largest Ukrainian diaspora in the Western world. Ukrainian Canadians form an invaluable piece of our country’s cultural mosaic, and their contributions, past and present, make Canada the country we love.
“Today, we are reminded of the courage, determination, and resilience of the people of Ukraine as they fight bravely against authoritarian aggression. To all Ukrainians: you are not alone in this fight. Canada will always stand with you as you defend your freedoms, independence, and democracy.