Remarks at the NATO Summit in Belgium
We have just spent two very productive days here in Brussels where we did some major work with leaders from around the world and with NATO.
We came here to continue to do our part to ensure that all leaders stand strong and united to support Ukraine against Russia, and that our resolve continues to stay strong for as long as it takes. Putin needs to know that there will be no erosion of our determination, and that the catastrophic costs of our sanctions will only grow over time as they punish him and his friends.
Yesterday, I sat down with President von der Leyen of the European Commission and President Metsola of the European Parliament, as well as Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland. Today, I got to sit down with fellow NATO leaders, fellow G7 leaders, and had direct conversations with President Michel of the European Council, a direct conversation with Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and we got to hear twice from President Zelenskyy as he continues to demonstrate extraordinary leadership in the face of incredibly difficult situations.
Vladimir Putin’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine threatens the security of Europe and the world, as well as the security of democracies. NATO allies continue to be united in their coordinated response and in our support to Ukraine and its people.
Today we reaffirmed Canada's steadfast commitment to NATO. Canada leads the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia, which includes 10 NATO countries, and we've pledged up to 3400 troops to NATO's Response Force, including air, land and maritime capabilities. Earlier this month, we renewed our commitment to Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces support to NATO's assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, since 2015, Canadian Armed Forces mission, Operation UNIFIER, has trained over 30,000 of Ukrainian security forces, which means that, as we see the Ukrainian military standing strong against the Russian invasion, the brave women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces can take pride in knowing they contributed directly to that.
European security is important to Canadians’ security, and so we are always grateful to the brave women and men of CAF who’ve deployed thousands of kilometers from home to help protect Euro-Atlantic security and stand up strongly for the values we cherish at home and around the world.
The world has come together to impose unprecedented and punishing sanctions on Putin and his enablers. Today, Canada will be increasing pressure by sanctioning 160 members of the Russian Federation Council who facilitated and enabled this unjustified invasion, which brings the total of individuals connected to Putin who’ve been sanctioned by Canada to 964.
New export bans will also be imposed, aimed at weakening Russian military capabilities in areas such as electronics, computers, telecommunications, sensors and lasers, navigation and avionics, marine, aerospace and transportation.
Putin has and is continuing to commit war crimes and create a devastating humanitarian crisis. We’ll be announcing the allocation of $50 million from our humanitarian aid contribution to the World Food Program, the World Health Organization, the UN refugee agency, the organization People in Need, and the Canadian Red Cross.
The bombings and attacks threaten cultural and heritage sites that are important to Ukrainian culture, so we’ll be giving $4.8 million to entities like UNESCO to protect them.
Putin has made some serious errors. One was to underestimate the strength and courage of the Ukrainian people, who are demonstrating how they can fight to protect their heritage, but he also made the mistake of thinking that we were divided. What we have seen, and what we continue to see on days like today, when we have extraordinary meetings, is that NATO remains united, and he made a miscalculation. We are and will continue to be strong and united.
Canada, and its partners and allies, will continue to work in lockstep to hold Putin and Russian leadership accountable, and always be there to support Ukraine and its people.
Thank you very much.