Friday, February 3, 2023

Canada extends $120 million loan to Ukraine, looking forward to further action to counter Russian aggression

Canada will loan up to $120 million to the Ukrainian government to counter Russia’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Ukraine, and will continue to explore “other” ways to get involved, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. declare.

“Russia is aiming to destabilize Ukraine, including financially. This loan will help support Ukraine’s economic resilience,” Trudeau said. “We are also exploring other options to provide financial and other support. “

The government says it has offered Ukraine a “technical assistance grant of up to $6 million to support the implementation of the loan”, in talks with officials about the sovereign loan’s terms and its rollout.

This is not the first time Canada has given loans to Ukraine. A total of $400 million was provided in 2014 and 2015 and, according to the government, it was repaid with interest by 2020.

Facing reporters’ questions on the developing situation, Trudeau said the federal government was still assessing other requests for aid, including asking for weapons. He would not specify what Canada’s line would be for sending armed support, whether it was an incursion or Russian troops entering Kiev.

“Any movement of Russian troops into Ukraine will be completely unacceptable and will be met with a clear response from the international community,” he said.

Russia’s ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, said in an interview on CTV news channel’s Power Play on Thursday that the threat of Western sanctions in response to a military build-up on the Ukrainian border carries no weight and will not affect the country’s future actions. .

Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 440 individuals and entities related to Russia, dating back to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Asked about Stepanov’s comments, Trudeau said he thought sanctions had an effect on Russia.

“We know that the Russian people do not want to see an invasion of Ukraine, do not want to see deaths in a conflict that should be avoided. That is why we are calling on Russia to have diplomatic dialogue,” Trudeau said.

Resurrected concerns over the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and Russian-based cyber attacks have attracted concerted, daily attention from NATO countries, including Canada and the United States.

Canada’s response is being coordinated by senior officials from the country, including International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, Defense Minister Anita Anand and Chief of Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre.

Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie traveled to Ukraine this week to discuss the situation with her counterpart, and according to the prime minister, the loan was discussed during these talks.

Canada has deployed a small group of Canadian special forces to Ukraine, although the government has remained silent about what they are doing on the ground. Also, as part of Operation UNIFIER, about 200 Canadian Armed Forces members in Canada are conducting training exercises in Ukraine.

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Nation World News Desk
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