June 21, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Canada and Ukraine have a long history of friendship, common values, and shared ambitions for the future of our peoples.
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today had a fruitful conversation with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Ottawa. He reiterated Canada’s unwavering support to Ukraine, both in helping to preserve and protect Ukraine’s sovereignty in response to Russian aggression and in providing assistance to Ukraine to implement key reforms.
Minister Sajjan underlined that both the recent signing of the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement (DCA) and the renewal of Operation UNIFIER until March 2019 are critical parts of Canada’s multifaceted support to Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty, security, and stability.
While the DCA is focused on providing a framework for cooperation on important defence-related issues, Operation UNIFIER is part of broader Government of Canada efforts to advance democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Ukraine through development, financial, humanitarian, and non-lethal military assistance.
Supporting the security of other nations and their ability to contribute to security abroad is one of the eight core missions of Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new Defence Policy. Canada’s assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainians is fully aligned with the new Defence Policy.
“The Government of Canada is committed to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they work to build a more secure, stable, and prosperous country. The illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory by Russia is not something Canada can accept or ignore. Canada will continue providing support to the Ukrainian people, as we have since January 2014, as long as our assistance is needed.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
As part of Canada’s response to requests from the Government of Ukraine, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), with support from Global Affairs Canada, is providing military training and capacity building to Ukrainian Armed Forces’ personnel to support Ukraine in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability.
Since the start of the training in September 2015, the CAF has delivered more than 110 courses to over 4750 Ukrainian soldiers, covering all types of training.
Canada has provided a broad range of assistance (development, financial, humanitarian, non-lethal military) to Ukraine, totaling more than $700 million since January 2014.
Canada has contributed over $16 million in non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces, and will contribute an additional $7.25 million over the next two years.
Under the extension of Operation UNIFIER until March 2019, Canada will continue to deploy approximately 200 CAF personnel in Ukraine.
In addition to the Canadian Government`s recent decision to renew Operation UNIFIER, the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement further exemplifies Canada’s commitment to Ukraine. It identifies areas of mutual cooperation such as defence policy; defence research, development, and production; and military education.
Canada also participates on Ukraine’s Defence Reform Advisory Board (DRAB). The DRAB has been established to provide high-level expertise and recommendations to senior political leadership carrying out planning, organization, implementation, and control of institutional reforms of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.