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Defence Minister Anand Participates in NATO Extraordinary Defence Ministers’ Meeting

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On March 16th, Defence Minister Anita Anand attended a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Extraordinary Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

During the meeting, Minister Anand and her Allied counterparts emphasized the importance of continuing to strengthen and adapt the Alliance and focused on consequences for Russia’s actions.

Ukraine’s Minister of Defence, Oleksii Reznikov, joined the meeting virtually to describe in detail the destruction caused by Russia and the determination of the Ukrainian people to defend their country.

Minister Anand reaffirmed Canada’s ironclad commitment to NATO and unwavering support for Ukraine. She highlighted Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent announcement that Canada will renew its multi-year commitment of Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. She further underscored Canada’s support by highlighting the CAF’s efforts through Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s non-combat training and capacity building mission in support of Ukraine’s security forces, as well as Canada’s recent military equipment contributions to Ukraine.

On the margins of the meeting, Minister Anand hosted bilateral discussions with counterparts from Poland , Romania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to discuss the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine. They reflected on measures that have already been taken and ongoing coordinated efforts to restore global peace, maintain regional stability, and protect the rules-based international order.    

Tomorrow in Brussels, Minister Anand will meet with U.S. Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin III, for a bilateral meeting.

Canada stands with the people of Ukraine and will continue to work closely with its NATO Allies and partners to coordinate support to Ukraine with military supplies, financial support and humanitarian aid as it fights for its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

“Canada continues to condemn the Russian leadership’s unprovoked and unjustifiable actions. The discussions I had while at NATO reinforce the shared commitment of Allies and partners to supporting Ukraine and the need to adapt the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture. In the face of the current security situation, NATO Allies have demonstrated the strength and resilience of the Alliance as we stand up for the rules-based international order.” The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence


• NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy. Canada believes in and steadfastly supports NATO’s principle of collective defence and is providing direct support to NATO missions and operations.

• Currently, Canada is:

Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;

Periodically deploying CF-18 fighter aircraft to conduct surveillance and air policing activities in Europe;

Providing a Halifax-class frigate on a persistent, rotational basis to a Standing NATO Maritime Group, in support of maritime operations and to conduct deterrence and assurance activities. HMCS Montreal is currently deployed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two;

Supporting training and capacity building efforts in the Middle East under Operation IMPACT, including through NATO Mission Iraq; and

Deploying personnel to NATO’s Kosovo Force.

• As part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. Canada’s contribution of up to 540 personnel, vehicles and equipment includes a headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, and combat service support based at Camp Ādaži.

• The Canadian Armed Forces is deploying up to 460 additional personnel to the approximately 800 currently deployed in Europe in support of NATO. These additional contributions include:

A battery of M777 artillery guns with forward observers and an electronic warfare troop to bolster the Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;

A second frigate, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Halifax, with an embarked maritime helicopter, will be re-tasked to participate in NATO’s Standing Naval Forces (HMCS Montreal is currently deployed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two); and

The re-tasking of a CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft to operate in the Euro-Atlantic Area under NATO command and control.

• In addition, Canada has up to 3,400 troops on high readiness to deploy to the NATO Response Force, if requested by NATO.

• Canada has donated $82.8 million in military equipment since the crisis in Ukraine began.

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