May 8, 2022
Today, Canada sends a resounding message to the world that we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and its people.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today visited Kyiv, Ukraine, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, accompanied the Prime Minister.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in a flag raising ceremony to mark the re-opening of the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine. Ambassador Larisa Galadza, together with a team of additional staff members, will resume diplomatic operations in Kyiv, Ukraine as part of a gradual restoring of Canada’s full diplomatic presence and services. Until further notice, consular and immigration services will continue to be provided in Poland and many other European cities in the region.
Prime Minister Trudeau also visited Irpin, where he witnessed firsthand the reckless brutality of Vladimir Putin’s illegal war. Russian forces have terrorized and killed civilians and destroyed homes and neighbourhoods. Canada is leading efforts to ensure they are held accountable for war crimes and other egregious violations of human rights. At the same time, the Prime Minister also witnessed the strength and resilience of Ukrainians, and despite efforts by Russia, Kyiv still stands strong and proud today.
In a bilateral meeting, the Prime Minister and President Zelenskyy discussed the historic partnership between their two countries, the situation in Ukraine, and the need for additional international support – including humanitarian, financial, and military assistance. The two leaders also discussed global efforts to impose severe and lasting sanctions on Russia in response to President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated Canada’s unwavering support for Ukraine and ongoing commitment to help in any way possible.
Today, the Prime Minister announced additional measures and investments to continue supporting Ukraine, including:
Providing an additional $50 million in military assistance, which builds on recent contributions of artillery, ammunition, and civilian-pattern light armoured vehicles:
18 drone cameras, including in-service support and repair,
$15 million of high-resolution satellite imagery,
Up to $1 million in small arms and related ammunition, and
Additional ammunition for M777 howitzers;
Allocating $25 million, from Canada’s $100 million contribution for humanitarian aid in the region, to the World Food Programme to address food security in Ukraine; and
Contributing $10 million in funding to support human rights, civil society, and demining in Ukraine, in particular:
$1.5 million to the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund;
$2.5 million to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor, document and assess human rights violations;
$775,000 to Front Line Defenders to support human rights activists and organizations;
Up to $2 million to German Marshal Fund of the United States to support civil society actors at risk;
Up to $1.15 million in digital emergency support for civil society in Ukraine; and
$2 million to HALO Trust for mine action emergency response.
The Prime Minister also announced his intention to temporarily remove trade tariffs on Ukrainian imports for a period of one year and that Canada will be imposing new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations. These new actions, which build on the measures previously announced on April 27, 2022, include:
Imposing sanctions on 21 additional Russian individuals, including oligarchs and close associates of the Russian regime; and
Sanctioning 19 individuals in the Russian defence sector and five entities for providing indirect or direct support to the Russian military.
The investments and measures announced today build on what Canada has already committed this year. Since February 2022, Canada has provided $245 million in humanitarian assistance and over $131 million for defensive military equipment. On top of that, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $1 billion in loans through the IMF Administered Account for Ukraine from Canada. This is on top of $620 million in bilateral loans already committed to Ukraine, of which $500 million has already been disbursed. Budget 2022 also proposes $500 million in additional military aid. Today’s sanctions also build on those that have already been imposed on more than 1,000 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus since February 24, 2022.
During his visit, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy participated in a G7 Leaders’ meeting. Together with leaders from the G7, the Prime Minister and President commemorated the end of the Second World War in Europe. The leaders condemned President Putin’s unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal war, and Russia’s horrendous attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. The G7 reiterated its steadfast military, financial, and diplomatic support for Ukraine and committed to phasing out reliance on Russian energy, imposing additional sanctions, combatting Russian propaganda, and addressing the international challenges caused by President Putin’s war – particularly global food security.
Canada will continue to support Ukraine and Ukrainians as they fight authoritarianism and as they defend their freedoms, their democracy, and their way of life.