Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv on Saturday, announcing $500 million in new military aid and confirming that Canada will support Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership.
Trudeau visited a memorial dedicated to Ukrainian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting pro-Russian forces since 2014. He also held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and addressed the Ukrainian parliament.
During the talks, Trudeau expressed Canada’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, stating, “We will be there with (you) as much as it takes, for as long as it takes.” Canada, a NATO member with a large Ukrainian diaspora, has been providing military and financial assistance to Kyiv since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
While Ukraine aspires to join NATO, Zelensky acknowledged that this cannot happen until the conflict with Russia is resolved. A joint declaration issued after the talks confirmed Canada’s support for Ukraine’s NATO membership aspirations and stated that the issue would be addressed at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July 2023.
“Canada supports Ukraine to become a NATO member as soon as conditions allow for it. Ukraine and Canada look forward to addressing these issues at the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July 2023,” the joint declaration said.
Trudeau’s speech in the Ukrainian parliament received lengthy applause as he condemned the Russian invasion and commended Ukraine’s democratic progress. He emphasized that Ukraine’s resistance was not only about its own future but also “the future of us all. You are the tip of the spear that is determining the future of the 21st century.”
During Trudeau’s visit, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced the seizure of a Russian-registered Antonov-124 cargo plane at Toronto’s airport. This marks Canada’s first time Kyiv has confiscated a Russian asset.
The Long-Awaited Counteroffensive
During the press conference of what would be Trudeau’s second unannounced visit since the war began, Zelensky appeared to have confirmed that the long-awaited counteroffensive has begun.
“Counteroffensive and defensive actions are taking place in Ukraine: at which stage I will not talk in detail,” the Ukrainian president said. His remarks come after Russian President Vladimir Putin made claims that Kyiv’s counteroffensive is failing.
“It’s interesting what Putin said about our counteroffensive. It is important that Russia always feels this: that they do not have long left, in my opinion,” Zelensky said, adding that he’s updated daily by military commanders including the head of the armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhnyi.
“Everyone is positive now – tell that to Putin!”
Information for this story was found via Reuters, The Guardian, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.