Canada not ruling out sending weapons to Ukraine

Secretary of State Melanie Jolie has not ruled out the possibility of Canada sending weapons to Ukraine while Russia builds up its forces along the eastern border, noting that her Cabinet colleagues are working closely on the issue.

In a question-period interview on CTV with host Evan Solomon live on Sunday, Jolie said she has had many conversations with her Ukrainian counterpart and that Canada’s calls for de-escalation of Russia remain strong.

“We call on Russia, along with all NATO allies, to halt their military build-up to Ukraine’s side…when it comes to dealing with the threat that Russia presents, and that is exactly why on Friday I had an important meeting with all foreign countries. NATO ministers because it is important as an alliance that we show strength, unity and determination.”

Pressed repeatedly on whether Canada will send weapons to help defend Ukrainian forces in the conditions of a Russian invasion, Jolie only said that her team is actively involved in this issue.

“The most important thing now is to work with the Ukrainians to deal with their security threats. That is what we are going to do. My colleague Anita Anand, the Minister of Defense, said actively on this file as well as with allies … Ukraine’s security is the security of Europe, and therefore the security of the world and Canada.”

In early December, US intelligence officials reported more details of the Russian advance in the region, including plans to deploy an estimated 175,000 troops along various points near the Ukrainian border.

On December 30, US President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States may impose new sanctions on Russia if it takes further military action against Ukraine.

Putin requested the call, the second between the two leaders that month, ahead of talks scheduled between top US and Russian officials on Jan. 9-10 in Geneva.

Jolie also neither confirmed nor denied whether Canada would consider imposing sanctions on the superpower.

As part of Operation UNIFIER, Canada sends a group of about 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to Ukraine every six months, scheduled to be stationed there until March.

The focus of the operation is to help train security forces. This will help them improve and build their abilities and capabilities. The Confederation of African Football is coordinating its efforts with the United States and other countries that support in the same way. Military training is part of Canada’s overall support to Ukraine.”

Files from The Associated Press.

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