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Additional Support for Ukraine Announced by PM Trudeau at NATO Summit in Vilnius

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced additional support for the Alliance and for Ukraine at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. At the Summit, NATO Allies committed to strengthening the Alliance’s deterrence and defence capabilities and enhancing their assistance to Ukraine. The Prime Minister, along with G7 Leaders, reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to a free, independent, democratic, and sovereign Ukraine, capable of defending itself and deterring future aggression. The PM, along with leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union, also announced their commitment to formalize their enduring support to Ukraine, through bilateral long-term security commitments, as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, rebuilds its economy, protects its citizens, and pursues integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

At the Summit, the Prime Minister announced $541 million in new funding and projects to support Ukraine and strengthen transatlantic security. The new funding for Ukraine builds on the over $8 billion in multifaceted assistance Canada has dedicated since the beginning of 2022, and builds on the announcement the Prime Minister made in Latvia this week to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE, part of NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern Europe, and double Canada’s current presence in the country.

Canada will continue to help provide Ukraine with the military equipment and training it needs to defend itself. The Prime Minister announced that Canada intends to build on our military support and respond to a direct request from Ukraine by providing additional drone cameras. Canada will also now provide training and capacity building to the Ukrainian military under Operation UNIFIER in Canada. This summer, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean will welcome Officer cadets from Ukraine for an intense three-week training program developed in partnership with NATO through the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP). The training builds on Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) training in support of Ukraine currently underway in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Latvia.

Further, the Prime Minister announced an additional $48.8 million to the Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) for Ukraine. This contribution, in addition to the $34.6 million announced in April 2023, will support NATO’s provision of non-lethal practical assistance to Ukraine through donations of material including fuel, bridging equipment, rations, and first aid. The CAP provides practical support and defence capacity building to Ukraine and Canada is among the leading contributors.

Canada, along with Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, signed a statement to establish a joint coalition for the training of the Ukrainian Air Force in operating and maintaining the F-16 fighter aircraft. By signing the statement, Canada commits to contributing to multinational efforts to train Ukrainian pilots, technicians, and support staff to operate and maintain the F-16 fighter aircraft.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced an additional $2.7 million in cyber security assistance for Ukraine to support efforts to counter malicious cyber activity in the face of evolving cyber risks and threats.

The Prime Minister announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a $450 million contract to Thales Canada Inc. in a joint venture to provide in-service support for the CAF’s Minor Warships and Auxiliary Vessels (MWAV) fleet for five years, with options to extend to up to 19 years. This includes support to the Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, such as those deployed under Operation REASSURANCE, demonstrating Canada’s unwavering commitment to NATO. The contract will begin this month.

At the Summit, Canada and other NATO member states, including Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Türkiye, and the United Kingdom signed the founding document of the new NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence. This initiative is led by Canada, the Centre’s Framework Nation, and will be located in Montreal. Canada will provide direct support and $40.4 million over five years, with $7 million per year ongoing, in funding. This Centre of Excellence will enable Canada, NATO Allies, and other global partners to understand and address the serious security implications of climate change, including in the Arctic. Its activities will support the NATO Climate Change and Security Action Plan and will be Canada’s first NATO Centre of Excellence. It will contribute to Montreal’s status as a global hub for international organizations.

The Allied Heads of State and Governments endorsed the Vilnius Summit Communiqué reaffirming the transatlantic unity and solidarity at a critical moment for Euro-Atlantic and global security. NATO remains the strongest defence Alliance in history and Allies will continue to work together to safeguard the freedom and security of our Allies and work toward peace and security everywhere.

“Canada remains a strong, reliable Ally through its ongoing contributions to NATO and to transatlantic security. We are providing members of the Canadian Armed Forces with the modern equipment they need to deliver on a wide range of operations, including training members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Canada has stepped up as we always have, and we will continue to stand with our Allies and partners now and into the future.” – The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

ADDITIONAL INFO

• At the Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau welcomed recent progress on Sweden’s NATO accession, reiterating that Canada has always welcomed Sweden’s contributions to Euro-Atlantic security and supported its close partnership with the Alliance. He emphasized Canada’s full confidence in Sweden’s ability to integrate into NATO and make meaningful contributions to our collective security.

• Prime Minister Trudeau underscored that Canada fully supports the renewal of NATO’s Defence Investment Pledge (DIP), while underlining that the DIP should also maintain an equitable balance in burden sharing.

• The Prime Minister was joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand.

• While at the Summit, the Prime Minister held bilateral meetings with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins, the President of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

• Before travelling to Vilnius, the Prime Minister announced in Latvia that Canada is committing $2.6 billion in funding to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance’s collective defence in a generation, and Canada’s largest overseas mission. This new funding will double Canada’s current presence in Latvia.

• Defence spending in Canada has been steadily increasing. Over the past year, Canada has committed more than $66 billion to national defence. This includes significant NORAD investments for continental defence. In addition, Canada is on track to exceed the current NATO target of 20 percent of spending on equipment and we will reach 32 percent in 2024.

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