UPDATE: Canada To Send $85M To Support Ukraine

Ottawa announced the federal government will provide Ukraine with about $85 million Sunday to support the country during Russia’s invasion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn.

The Prime Minister’s Office says that Canada is sending $50 million in military assistance, $25 million to the World Food Programme to address food insecurity and $10 million towards human rights, civil society and demining. Since January, Canada has committed $245 million in aid for the crisis in Ukraine.

In this year’s federal budget, the Trudeau government allocated $500 million in additional military aid.

“As Russia continues its ongoing illegal and unjustifiable war against Ukraine, Canada will continue to be there to support Ukraine and its people,” said Trudeau. “I would like to thank President Zelenskyy for hosting this visit, but also more importantly, for his leadership.

“Together with Ukrainians, President Zelenskyy is defending the values at the very heart of democracies. His courage and the courage of Ukrainians is inspiring, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure Ukraine gets the support it needs.”

Canada also announced it will impose sanctions on 12 Russians with close ties to Russia’s regime, 19 individuals tied to Russia’s defense sector and five entities providing direct or indirect support to the Russian military. Since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, Canada has sanctioned more than 1,000 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The funding announcement comes as Ukrainian forces push back Russian soldiers nearly three months after Russia began its invasion.

Trudeau was also joined by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza to officially reopen the Canadian embassy, which has been closed since Feb. 13.

“Canada and our allies are united in our condemnation of Vladimir Putin and his war of aggression, and we are united in our support for the remarkable people of Ukraine who are so bravely resisting his assault,” said Freeland, who is also Canada’s minister of finance.

“We know that in standing up for themselves, the people of Ukraine are standing up for democracy and international law — and we stand with them. Today’s visit is a key opportunity for Canada to further underscore that unwavering support.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the city of Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine, and met with Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn (right). (Submitted: Oleksandr Markushyn)

During his visit to Ukraine, Trudeau met with Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn.

Markushyn told The Kyiv Independent that Trudeau wanted to see Irpin with his own eyes and “was shocked” after visiting the destroyed homes of local residents. Markushyn hopes for Trudeau’s support in organizing efforts to rebuild local infrastructure.

And Canada wasn’t the only western government to have officials visit Ukraine on Sunday.

United States First Lady Jill Biden held a surprise Mother’s Day meeting with Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska.

“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” said Biden to Zelenska.

“I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”

U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters in March during his visit to Poland that he was disappointed he couldn’t visit Ukraine, noting that he was not allowed for security reasons. The White House said there are no plans to visit at this time.

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