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Canada and Ukraine sign bilateral security agreement

Photo: Nathan Denette The Canadian Press As he has since the start of this war, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again promised to ensure that Canada stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes to achieve victory.

Laura Osman – The Canadian Press in Warsaw

11:01 a.m.

  • Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a new bilateral security agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, as several world leaders gathered in Ukraine to mark the second anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion in this country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Saturday, alongside other world leaders, at the site of one of the war's first and fiercest battles to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of this country.

The deal, announced by Mr. Trudeau during a surprise visit to kyiv, aims to strengthen both Ukraine's military and the country's economy.

It includes some $320 million in new military spending, expected by the end of the year, as well as $2.4 billion in loans to Ukraine, which will be administered by the Monetary Fund international.

“War is not only experienced on the battlefield, it is felt every day, by ordinary people,” recalled Mr. Trudeau during a press conference at the official residence of the Ukrainian president.

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“This money will help repair roads after a bombing, pay the nurses and doctors who keep people healthy, and it will support the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia. »

Mr. Trudeau also announced $75 million to help fund Ukraine's mine clearance efforts and intelligence collection.

The announcement came as part of a surprise visit by the Prime Minister to Ukraine, during which several world leaders gathered at the site of one of the first and fiercest battles of the war.< /p>

“Two years after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Canada's support for the Ukrainian people remains unwavering,” Mr. Trudeau said in a tweet on the social network 3:50 a.m. Saturday morning, Quebec time.

Mr. Trudeau first appeared at Hostemel Airport alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in a demonstration of global solidarity.

Canada and Ukraine sign bilateral security agreement

Photo: Nathan Denette The Canadian Press Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo participate in a ceremony on Saturday in Kiev to mark two years since the Russian invasion.

Behind them, the burned hulks of destroyed planes and blackened walls of the airport just outside the capital served as a backdrop, a bitter reminder of the early days of the invasion, on February 24, 2022.

“Putin was confident that he could easily take strategic targets like this airport. Russian forces tried to quickly get Hostomel airport up and running — and with it, kyiv,” Mr. Trudeau emphasized during his speech.

“Putin cannot win”

“Well, we’re here today because he was wrong. »

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his assault on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. His paratroopers attacked the airport hours after the start of what he called a “special military operation.” in the country.

Two years later, the remnants of that battle were visible behind the leaders as they took their turn at the podium — lingering evidence of the bloody and violent conflict that continues to rage.

“Putin cannot win,” Mr. Trudeau said. Ukraine will experience victory.”

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also present for the anniversary, as well as Canadian Minister of National Defense Bill Blair and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. American President Joe Biden was not expected.

As he has from the beginning, Justin Trudeau once again promised to ensure that Canada stands with Ukraine for as long as it takes to achieve victory.

“You fought with an ingenuity and tenacity that showed the whole world what Ukrainians are capable of,” praised Prime Minister Trudeau.

“You are the spearhead that will determine the course of the 21st century,” he added, specifying that this war goes beyond Ukraine’s borders, since it also defends democracy.

Looking for support

Two years after the first Russian tanks entered Ukrainian soil, European countries are struggling to find enough weapons to send to Kiev, while new aid from the United States , worth US$60 billion, has stalled due to political differences in the US Congress.

The delays have frustrated President Zelensky, who fears, like others, that such delays and internal political conflicts could play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Just last week, Russia took control of the town of Avdiïvka, about 700 kilometers east of Ukraine's capital, where troops fought fiercely around a chemical plant local for weeks.

On Friday evening, a Russian drone attack hit a residential building in the southern city of Odessa, killing at least one person and injuring several others.

Mr. Zelensky himself warned his allies last week that an “artificial deficit” in weapons risks giving Russia a dangerous advantage.

American military aid in slow motion

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden criticized Republicans in Congress as they block passage of legislation to maintain support for Ukraine.

“The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will not be forgotten. Now is the time for us to stand strong with Ukraine and united with our allies and partners,” President Biden said in a statement.

“Now is the time to prove that the United States stands for freedom and bows to no one,” he stressed.

Mr. Biden has chastised his political opponents, including former President Donald Trump, for his fiery rhetoric on Ukraine and lack of support that borders on what the current commander in chief calls “criminal negligence.”

Prime Minister Trudeau's show of solidarity in Kiev also offers an opportunity to help repair relations after a gaffe during President Zelensky's visit to Ottawa last fall that triggered a situation embarrassing on an international scale.

With the Ukrainian president in the House of Commons, MPs paid a war hero tribute to a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran who was found to have fought for the Nazis during the Second World War.

The incident made headlines around the world, prompted an apology from the Canadian Prime Minister, cost former Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota his job, and provided material for the Russian propaganda machine.

With Nathan Denette in kyiv and The Associated Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116