On November 26 the Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson, announced that in response to a request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Canada will provide more military equipment to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The donated military gear falls under the category of non-lethal equipment, and will include kit such as tactical communications systems, explosive ordinance disposal equipment, tactical medical kits and night vision goggles.
“Our soldiers are fighting bravely, but most will not get home. It is not an equal fight. We are not NATO, but we need Canada’s support,” said Vadym Prystaiko, the outgoing Ukrainian ambassador to Canada.
National Defence will also deliver winterized kits to expand the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The surplus equipment includes approximately 30,000 coats, 30,000 pairs of pants, 70,000 pairs of Gore-Tex boots and 4,500 pairs of gloves.
The first shipment will be transported out of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, via a RCAF CC177 Globemaster and is scheduled to arrive in Ukraine by the end of November. The remainder of the equipment will be transported by a separate sealift early in 2015.
“I was there in Trenton when the last equipment was sent to Ukraine. We Ukrainians share the same values as Canadians. We are very thankful for this assistance. It has saved many lives of Ukrainians,” said Prystaiko.
This donation is in addition to the five million dollars in non-lethal military equipment the Government of Canada has previously donated to the country and is expected to enhance capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The CAF’s response in support of this request promotes security in Central and Eastern Europe, and demonstrates Canada’s steadfast commitment to our allies in the region.
“This is yet another positive action that Canada is taking to help Ukraine respond to the violence being perpetrated by separatists in eastern parts of the country. The equipment and clothing announced today will help enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to secure its eastern border and deny those who wish to destabilize the country through intimidation and violence,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.
Canada is among the strongest international supporters of Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms. Together, with NATO allies, Canada continues to call on Russia to follow through on its Geneva commitments to de-escalate the crisis. Ukraine’s sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future.
In the face of ongoing Russian military aggression and illegal occupation, Canada has taken a number of steps to support the Ukrainian people as they work to restore political and economic stability, including imposing sanctions against those responsible for the ongoing crisis. Canada has also taken steps to enhance the readiness of NATO through a number of reassurance measures to reinforce the Alliance’s collective defence. Canadian soldiers have been training and working with NATO allies as part of Operation REASSURANCE since early May of 2014.
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