14 April 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government of Canada will provide significant additional military resources to help train and build the capacity of Ukrainian forces personnel. The announcement was made following a briefing on the current security situation in Ukraine with Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and Minister for Multiculturalism, and General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.
Canada will be deploying approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel to Ukraine until March 31, 2017, to develop and deliver military training and capacity-building programs for Ukrainian forces personnel. CAF members will be deployed on both a sustained and periodic basis depending on the type of training being conducted. Their activities will include explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal training, military police training, medical training, flight safety training, and logistics system modernization training. Canada will also be providing individual and unit tactics training to Ukrainian National Guard personnel along with the United States.
Canada’s latest military contribution, which addresses a number of requests from the Government of Ukraine, is being provided to help the country in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security and stability in the face of Russian aggression. The support being announced today was informed by consultations with key allies.
Canada’s position on Ukraine has been clear since the outset: we recognize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and will never recognize the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea or any part of that country.
The training, intended to begin this summer, is in addition to training opportunities offered by the CAF through the Military Training and Cooperation Program. The training will take place primarily at the NATO Partnership for Peace Training and Education Centre in Yavoriv, located in western Ukraine close to the Polish border. Training will also take place at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence Demining Centre in Kamyanets-Podilsky in western Ukraine.
In January 2015, Canada formalized the provision of military assistance to Ukraine by joining the United States/Ukraine Joint Commission and agreeing to co-chair, with Ukraine, the Joint Commission’s Military Police Subcommittee.
In December 2014, Canada signed a Declaration of Intent with Ukraine for joint military training and capacity building in response to Russia’s aggression in that country.
In November 2014, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada committed to a further contribution of non-lethal military supplies. From that commitment, Canada has delivered 30,000 coats, 30,000 pairs of pants, and 70,000 pairs of Gore-Tex boots. Once manufacturing is finalized, Canada will also be sending 22 Harris high-frequency radios, 238 pairs of PVS-7 night vision goggles, 1,134 tactical medical kits, a mobile field hospital structure and a yet to-be-determined amount of explosive ordnance disposal equipment.
In August 2014, Canada provided non-lethal military supplies to Ukraine, including a range of targeted protection, medical and logistical equipment such as 7,000 helmets, 30,000 sets of ballistic eyewear, 2,300 protective vests, 300 first aid kits, 100 tents and 735 sleeping bags.
Canada has also been strengthening security in Central and Eastern Europe through contributions to NATO including: a contribution of $1 million to the NATO Trust Funds for Ukraine with a focus on building up its command, control, communications and computer capabilities; the deployment of Canadian military personnel and Canadian Armed Forces assets as part of Operation REASSURANCE including the deployment of Her Majesty’s Canadian ships Regina, Toronto and Fredericton in support of the same operation; contributions to the three NATO-accredited Centres of Excellence in the Baltic region on Cyber Defence, Energy Security and Strategic Communications to help strengthen the regional framework to address the crisis situation; and Canada’s participation in several military exercises with allies in Europe.
“Canada continues to stand with the people of Ukraine in the face of the Putin regime’s ongoing aggression. The Canadian military contribution being announced today will help Ukrainian forces personnel to better defend their country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Ukrainian forces personnel will benefit from the highest calibre of training from the brave men and women of our own Canadian Armed Forces. Canada will continue working with its allies to ensure a sovereign, unified and secure Ukraine.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper