LVIV, Ukraine, July 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada and Ukraine have a long history of friendship, common values, and shared ambitions for the future of our people.
Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, concluded his first official visit to Ukraine, which focused on strengthening the already robust economic and people-to-people ties between Canada and Ukraine.
During his visit, the Prime Minister met with President Petro Poroshenko to reiterate Canada's steadfast support for the people of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its reform efforts.
While in Kyiv, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) along with her Ukrainian counterpart. This agreement represents a significant milestone in Canada's relationship with Ukraine, and will generate commercial benefits for Canadians and Ukrainians alike.
The Prime Minister also met with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Parliamentary Speaker Andriy Parubiy. During these meetings, he acknowledged progress made to date and encouraged Ukraine to accelerate its efforts to achieve long-term prosperity and stability.
He also met with members of the Canadian and Ukrainian business communities to underline the importance Canada attaches to deepening Canada-Ukraine commercial relations.
The Prime Minister concluded his trip by visiting Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving as part of Operation UNIFIER at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv, where he witnessed Canada's contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building and military training activities.
"My first official visit to Ukraine has confirmed to me that Canada and Ukraine not only share deep historical ties, but that we are united in our desire for a better future. This free trade agreement, and indeed everything we have accomplished during this visit, will allow Canadians and Ukrainians to prosper together."
– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- While in Ukraine, Prime Minister Trudeau made several announcements, including the following:
- Deploying additional Canadian monitors to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, which is monitoring the conflict in eastern Ukraine and supporting the implementation of the Minsk agreements;
- Responding to the immediate humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population in eastern Ukraine by providing a total of 13 million dollars in humanitarian assistance – including water, food, shelter, protection, as well as legal assistance and information for displaced people – and immediate support to farmers whose livelihoods have been impacted by the conflict;
- Deploying additional Canadian police to Ukraine, in roles focused on training and the provision of advice and institutional development, to better consolidate the important gains made from Ukraine's early police reforms and support the next phases of reform.
- In addition, the Prime Minister discussed human rights governance with civil society representatives. He highlighted the important role that civil society must play in complementing government efforts to implement far-reaching reforms.
- Operation Unifier: Canadian Armed Forces support to Canada's effort in Ukraine
OPERATION UNIFIER: CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
SUPPORT TO CANADA'S EFFORT IN UKRAINE
Operation UNIFIER is Canada's contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with the United States and other countries providing similar training assistance. Military assistance is one component of Canada's support to Ukraine, which also includes assistance toward development, security, democracy, and humanitarian aid. Training assistance provided by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) builds on previous support by the Government of Canada and is intended to bolster Ukraine's efforts to maintain its sovereignty, security and stability.
In January 2015, Canada formalized the provision of military assistance to Ukraine by joining the Multinational Joint Commission and agreeing to co-chair, with the United Kingdom, the Joint Commission's Military Police Subcommittee.
In April 2015, Canada committed to the deployment of approximately 200 CAF personnel to Ukraine until March 31, 2017, to develop and deliver military training and capacity-building programs for Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel. The first group of CAF personnel came from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at Garrison Petawawa. The current deployment is composed of troops from the 2nd Canadian Division Québec, including some members of the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group based in Valcartier.
In terms of direct support to Ukraine's security forces, Canada's assistance to Ukraine includes the provision of non-lethal military equipment. This includes the ongoing provision of specialized equipment such as tactical communications systems, a mobile field hospital, explosive ordnance disposal equipment, tactical medical kits, and night vision goggles. This type of equipment helps to enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Types of Training provided
The training provided to Ukrainian forces consists of:
- Small Team Training: individual weapons training; small unit tactics, including improved movement and communication; combat medical response, including first aid and casualty evacuation; survival methods; and, collective training for internal security and defence.
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal / Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Training: explosives safety, proper use of equipment; and capability development.
- Military Police Training: use-of-force, and basic investigative techniques training.
- Flight Safety and Language Training: Basic English language and flight safety training, covering all aspects of the CAF flight safety program.
- Medical Training: Provides casualty evacuation and combat first aid training. The medical training will be combined with the small team training.
- Logistics System Modernization: coordinating through the Multinational Joint Commission's Logistics Subcommittee to determine areas where Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) and the CAF could assist the Ukrainian forces in the modernization process.
Furthermore, Ukraine is a member of DND's Military Training and Cooperation Programme (MTCP), an ongoing engagement that will continue to offer a series of opportunities to enhance peace support operations interoperability, military capacity building, and professional development. DND has also provided increased training opportunities for Ukrainian personnel, through the MTCP, in areas such as language training, professional and junior officer development, and information technology.
This document is also available at http://pm.gc.ca
SOURCE Prime Minister's Office
For further information: PMO Media relations: 613-957-5555