Canada to send more troops to Ukraine in bid to deter war
Defensive weapons, support to stop cyberattacks also on way
Canada will send more troops to Ukraine along with defensive weapons to help thwart a Russian invasion of the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.
Canada will also provide cybersecurity support and share intelligence information "so that Ukraine can defend its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity," Trudeau said following a virtual Cabinet retreat where the main topic was the situation in Ukraine.
There are already 200 Canadian troops in Ukraine to provide training as Canada and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies attempt to deter a Russian invasion that could spark war in Eastern Europe.
“We continue to call on Russia to de-escalate and engage in meaningful dialogue until a diplomatic solution is reached,” Trudeau said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed around 100,000 troops along his country's shared border with Ukraine and demanded that Ukraine not be allowed to join NATO.
Canada will also send US$40 million worth of aid, in addition to a loan of US$95 million already announced for Ukraine.
The US and the UK announced earlier that they are sending lethal weapons to Ukraine but Trudeau said Canada is concentrating on defensive rather than offensive weapons.
The Canadian initiative follows an announcement that the US sent a reply to Russia saying it will not exclude Ukraine from membership in NATO. In addition, the US said it will not meet another Russian demand to remove American weapons and troops from nearby countries.
The Canadian announcement also comes after it ordered the family members of its Ukraine embassy staff to leave and issued a warning against unnecessary travel to the beleaguered country earlier this week.