Canada reaffirms our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Prime Minister of Canada / premier ministre du Canada): Good afternoon. Bonjour. It is Canada's great honour to have President Zelenskyy visit us here today. Thank you for coming, Volodymyr.
HIS EXCELLENCY VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY (President of Ukraine / président de l’Ukraine): Thank you so much.
RT HON. JUSTIN TRUDEAU: We stand here absolutely united in our defence of democracy and our condemnation of Vladimir Putin's unprovoked, unjustified and unconscionable invasion of Ukraine.
I discussed this in person today with President Zelenskyy during our tête-à-tête. We also had a ministers’ meeting, and discussed Ukraine’s military, financial and humanitarian needs today and in the future.
At each meeting, Canada was clear, as we always are, that we will stand with Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes. And today, we're backing up this commitment with further support. We are shifting our approach to provide multi-year assistance, ensuring Ukraine has the predictable support it needs for long-term success. As part of this approach. I'm announcing $650 million in new military assistance over the next three years to supply Ukraine with 50 armoured vehicles, including armoured medical evacuation vehicles that will be built by Canadian workers in London, Ontario.
We will also contribute pilot and maintenance instructors to the Joint Coalition F-16, as well as support for Leopard 2 tank maintenance.
We’ll also provide Ukraine with 35 high-resolution drone cameras, as well as support services and a range of NATO-compliant small arms and ammunition. Earlier this week, Minister Blair confirmed that Canada will be making a significant financial contribution to the UK-led consortium that is delivering air defence equipment to Ukraine.
Ukraine's resilience to date has been remarkable, but their economy continues to need support so that it can withstand this invasion, so that government has the resources it needs to continue to provide services to its people, so that it has the long-term certainty to plan and coordinate assistance effectively, and so that when Ukraine is victorious, it will continue to be a strong and prosperous country. That is why I am today confirming that we will again provide substantial macroeconomic support to Ukraine in the 2024 fiscal year.
We’ve just signed a free trade agreement that supports Ukraine’s economic development and gives Canadian companies preferential access that will create jobs. And later today, Volodymyr and I will be travelling to Toronto to meet with business leaders. We’ll be discussing how the private sector can support Ukraine’s efforts and already participate in rebuilding the country.
Meanwhile, we're continuing to impose costs on Russia and ensuring that those responsible for this illegal, unjustifiable invasion do not benefit from it. First, Canada and Ukraine have agreed to engage with G7 partners to establish a working group of eminent persons who will provide advice on the seizure and forfeiture of Russian assets, including of the Russian Central Bank. Second…
Second, we're adding another 63 Russian individuals and entities to our sanctions list, including those complicit in the kidnapping of children and the spreading of disinformation.
Ukrainian society as a whole needs support. To support civil society, we're going to help local NGOs, and we're also going to help the Ukrainian Parliament improve its cyber resilience. To help communities, we're also supporting the rebuilding of local infrastructure, and helping farmers who have been disrupted by Putin's actions.
To preserve the memory of victims of the Holodomor, Canada is prepared to contribute to the Holodomor Museum in Ukraine once appropriate arrangements are in place. And to help all affected Ukrainians, we’re providing funding to make mental health support more available because the toll this is taking on the well-being of citizens, even those not on the front lines, can never be understated.
Obviously, it won’t be possible to rebuild until peace is restored. As I said in Parliament today, and as I said to the UN Security Council this week, this peace cannot be a false peace based on compromises that reward the aggressor. We need a lasting peace that respects the United Nations Charter, complies with international law, and restores Ukraine's territorial integrity.
It was powerful to hear President Zelenskyy speak to parliamentarians today. And this evening, he will again speak, this time directly to Canadians, including Ukrainian Canadians, at an event in Toronto. Over 1.4 million Canadians have Ukrainian roots, but this war has made all of us, as Canadians, connected to Ukraine. This country has seen an incredible outpouring of support that is unique in the way that it comes from all corners of society, from the diaspora, from different orders of government, from different charities and from across the Canadian public. Because your fight is our fight.
These new announcements we have made build on nearly $9 billion of support since this full-scale invasion began, build on years of support through initiatives like Operation UNIFIER that has trained up tens of thousands of Ukrainian fighters, and a list of nearly 2700 individuals or entities that we have sanctioned since Putin illegally occupied Crimea in 2014.
Canada's support for Ukraine is unequivocal and always will be. And Volodymyr, I have to say that the steadfastness and the strength of your leadership, of your compassion and of how you have inspired not just Ukrainians, not just Canadians, but people all around the world to look at what they can do concretely to continue to stand up for what is right, continue to stand up for our values, is an inspiration to us all, including to me, my dear friend.
So, thank you very much. We will continue to stand with you as long as it takes.