Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will travel to Ukraine to meet with the interim Government of Ukraine to discuss the evolving situation there and how Canada can, along with its allies, continue to provide support. The Prime Minister will be in Kyiv on March 22 to meet with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Prime Minister Harper is the first G-7 leader to announce plans to travel to Ukraine since the beginning of this crisis.
The Prime Minister will also attend the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, from March 24-25, and will participate in a bilateral program in the Netherlands from March 23-24. In the Netherlands, he will be accompanied by James Moore, Minister of Industry.
After the Summit, the Prime Minister will travel to Munich and Berlin, Germany, for an official visit from March 26-27. During his travel to Germany, he will be accompanied by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade.
Ministers Fast and Moore will lead trade missions to the Netherlands and Germany, respectively.
The Nuclear Security Summit will bring together representatives from 53 countries, including all G-20 members and four international organizations. It will provide an opportunity for leaders to discuss ways to prevent nuclear terrorism and the pressing need to further develop and implement internationally-coordinated efforts to enhance nuclear security worldwide. The Summit will also provide an opportunity to highlight Canada’s active role in combating nuclear terrorism, especially through the Global Partnership against the Spread of Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
In the Netherlands, the Prime Minister will meet with his counterpart, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, and have an audience with King Willem-Alexander. In Germany, he will meet with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and Joachim Gauck, President of Germany. In both countries, leaders will discuss ways to increase trade and investment to further strengthen bilateral relations. They will also discuss international security challenges and the global and European economies. The Prime Minister will also use these opportunities to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the response to it by Canada and its allies.
Finally, the Prime Minister will meet with business and community leaders to promote deeper commercial relations and explore trade and investment opportunities that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will bring.
- The Prime Minister last visited Ukraine in October 2010.
- The last Nuclear Security Summit was held in March 2012, in Seoul, South Korea. During the Summit, Prime Minister Harper announced the renewal of Canada’s Global Partnership Program, which supports efforts to strengthen global security by combating the threat of nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical terrorism. Since 2012, Canada has funded nuclear and radiological security projects worth $16.3 million.
- In 2013, Canada implemented an important commitment made in Seoul by ratifying the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM/A) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT).
- Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Jordan, Panama, Peru, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Honduras. Most recently, Canada reached an agreement in principle with the 28-nation European Union, the largest and most lucrative market in the world.In addition, Canada and the Republic of Korea have also recently concluded negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement.
- Canada and the Netherlands have an excellent bilateral relationship. In addition to investment, trade and cultural links, personal ties forged during the Second World War underpin this fruitful partnership.
- The 65th anniversary of the Netherlands’ Liberation was marked in May 2010 with visits by Prime Minister Harper to the Netherlands and by Princess Margriet to Canada.
- Canada and Germany enjoy close relations, underpinned by active international cooperation, healthy trade and investment relations, and long-standing people-to-people ties. Roughly 3.2 million residents, or approximately 9.75 per cent of Canada's population, indicate “German” as their ethnicity.
- Prime Minister Harper last visited Germany in 2010 for a meeting with Chancellor Merkel just prior to the Muskoka G-8 Summit. He also visited in 2007 for the Canada-EU and G-8 summits, and in 2008 for a bio-diversity conference in Bonn. In August 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel made her first bilateral visit to Canada. Prior to this she had attended the 2010 G-8 and G-20 summits in Muskoka and Toronto.
“Canada remains united with its allies in recognizing the Government of Ukraine, and in supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We will continue to work with our allies to support efforts to restore the country to stability and unity so that the people of Ukraine can thrive and prosper free of intimidation and threat.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Our Government recognizes that the risk of nuclear terrorism is a significant threat to international security. Canada strongly supports the Nuclear Security Summit as a critical means of enhancing international efforts to combat nuclear terrorism. We have been working hard with international partners to prevent illicit nuclear proliferation activities and secure nuclear materials.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Canada values its strong ties with Germany and the Netherlands, both important trading partners and strong allies on a range of international files. I look forward to expanding and deepening relations with both countries, including exploring new commercial opportunities that the Canada-EU Trade Agreement will unlock.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper