The Canadian Government today further committed to working with the Ukrainian Government and its security forces to strengthen their capacity and defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its people.
Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson, announced Canada will join the United States-Ukraine Joint Commission on Defence Reform and Bilateral Cooperation in order to better coordinate Canada’s ongoing provision of assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“Our Government is steadfast in our commitment to Ukraine and working within the framework of this Joint Commission is the next step to ensuring Ukraine’s safety. As leaders within the Joint Commission’s activities, Canada can ensure expertise and experience of our men and women in uniform makes an important contribution to strengthening Ukraine’s security,” said Rob Nicholson, minister of national defence.
At the invitation of the Joint Commission, Canada will lead the Military Police Sub-committee and will co-ordinate the Joint Commission’s training assistance efforts to Ukraine’s military police.
The principal role of the Military Police Subcommittee is to coordinate the activities of participating nations to train and develop military police in Ukraine. More details on this sub-committee will become available as Canada undertakes this leadership role. In addition to leading the sub-committee, the Canadian Armed Forces is planning further initiatives to provide training assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces on matters related to military policing.
“We welcome Canada joining the US-Ukraine Joint Commission. Canada is a leader in support to Ukraine, something that is recognized both in my country and around world. By joining the Commission Canada will be helping strengthen the Ukrainian Armed Forces ability to protect civilians as well as our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Marko Shevchenko, charge d’affaires, Embassy of Ukraine in Canada.
When the Joint Commission was formed in July 2014. Canada was an observer at the Joint Commission’s inaugural meeting in October 2014, and later requested and received an invitation for membership on the Joint Commission.
The Ukrainian Congress believes Canada’s participation in the US-Ukraine Joint Commission, together with significant military assistance to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities, will make clear the West will not accept the use of force to change borders in Europe.
The Congress also applauds the work of the Canadian military and welcomes Canada’s efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s military capacity. A stronger Ukrainian military, with enhanced defensive capabilities, will increase the prospects for negotiation of a peaceful settlement and deter a further Russian offensive.
The US-Ukraine Joint Commission is the most effective and efficient venue for Canada to ensure the donations and training opportunities provided to Ukraine are appropriate, coordinated and synchronized with Canada’s ally the United States.
Canada has made extensive donations to the Ukrainian military since August, 2014, both through direct donation and support by the Department of National Defence, as well as through the donations and funding support provided by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. This includes the donation and delivery of a range of targeted protection, medical and non-lethal military gear.
In addition, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced a second low-interest loan of $200 million for Ukraine to help the newly-elected government restore macroeconomic stability, promote sustainable growth, and support programming consistent with Canadian development priorities.
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