Canada to send lethal weapons and loans Ukraine half billion dollars

AFP , Tuesday 15 Feb 2022

Canada is sending lethal military weaponry to Ukraine and loaning Kyiv Can$500 million to help defend itself in the face of Russian aggression, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday.

Canada s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removes his mask during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada on February 14, 2022. AFP.

"In light of the seriousness of the situation and following conversations with our Ukrainian partners, I've approved the provision of Can$7.8 million worth of lethal equipment and ammunition," Trudeau told a news conference.

"This responds to Ukraine's specific request, and is in addition to the non-lethal equipment we've already provided," he said, adding that "the intent of this support from Canada and other partners is to deter further Russian aggression."

In addition, the prime minister said Ottawa would provide more loans to Ukraine, bringing the total announced since the beginning of the year to Can$620 million (US$490 million).

Western allies have prepared what they warn would be a crippling package of economic sanctions in response to any attack, although Moscow has repeatedly said it has no such plans.

Recent Russian military exercises, including with Belarus, where the US said Moscow had dispatched 30,000 troops for more than a week of drills, have caused rising concern.

Canada, which is home to a large Ukrainian diaspora, has ordered its military trainers out of Ukraine and closed its embassy in Kyiv temporarily.

Some 200 Canadian soldiers have been deployed in Ukraine since 2015 as part of the UNIFIER mission, aimed at contributing to the training of Ukrainian forces.

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