Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly finishes a week-long diplomatic tour to Ukraine, France, and Brussels to discuss tensions between Russia and the West today.
The tour began with a two-day stop in Kyiv, where Joly met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to reaffirm Canada’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity, and NATO membership. She promised further economic assistance but has yet to decide whether to support Kyiv with weapons and military equipment.
The significance of a Russian invasion of Ukraine looms heavy for Ottawa since the country hosts the third-largest population of Ukrainian citizens. Since 2014, Canada has aided Ukraine with $700 million in non-lethal military equipment, 200 military soldiers, and warships. Canadian Special Operations soldiers have been in Ukraine since 2020 providing training, with more units in the country this week to act as a deterrent and prepare evacuation plans for diplomatic personnel in the event of an invasion.
If further Russian incursions occur, economic sanctions imposed by Canada, in union with NATO and non-NATO allies, are likely. Given Canada’s substantial Ukrainian population and partners like Britain who have dispatched defensive weapons, there is a possibility of Ottawa increasing troop levels and defensive military equipment support to Ukraine.
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Alan is an analyst with the Current Developments team, focusing on security and politics, particularly within the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Africa. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief.