Unexpected visit: Trudeau and Freeland in Kyiv

June 12,2023 1016
Unexpected visit: Trudeau and Freeland in Kyiv

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, together with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, arrived in Kyiv on June 10. The event was not announced beforehand for security reasons.

The Canadian partners began the visit by laying wreaths at the Wall of Memory of those killed in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Trudeau also addressed the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine.

During the meeting, Ottawa officially supported Ukraine’s accession to NATO, “as soon as conditions allow for it.” Trudeau and Zelenskyy adopted the relevant declaration. “The people of Ukraine can count on Canada to continue its political, financial, humanitarian and military support for as long as it takes – individually and through international cooperation within the G7, NATO, the United Nations and any other forum where Canada can bring its weight to bear,” the text of the document reads.

In addition, the Prime Minister of Canada announced a new military aid package worth CDN 500 million (USD 370 million) to Ukraine. Ottawa will also train pilots of the Armed Forces to master Western aircraft.

“We will also provide additional 287 of AІM-7 missiles that were provided in order to protect the sky of Ukraine, and 10,000 155-mm calibre shells on top of that,” Trudeau said.

Among the results of the visit is Canada’s decision to deliver the confiscated Russian An-123 transport plane to Ukraine. The aircraft was detained at the Toronto airport last year.

“Today, thanks to the legislation that we passed, we confiscate this aircraft, which was owned by Russia, and begin the process of transferring this asset to Ukraine so that it will never be used by Russia again in support of the war,” the Canadian prime minister said.

The Prime Minister of Canada also stated that Russia is to blame for destroying the Kakhovka HPP. “Russia is responsible and will be punished,” Trudeau said.

Canadian partners assured Kyiv of continued support. “The Ukrainian people have inspired the world—and Canada will be by their side until they are victorious,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland concluded.

This is the second visit of the Canadian delegation to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia. Trudeau first arrived in Kyiv last year in May.

Photo: Chrystia Freeland, Reuters, The Canadian Press