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Ukraine envoy asks Canada to clarify length of mission

Canada has deployed 200 troops to Ukraine in a non-combat mission due to end in March


 
Canadian and Ukrainian servicemen talk during the opening ceremony of a joint military exercises in Lviv, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Ukraine's envoy says his country is growing concerned about whether Canada will continue its future military support to his country to help it deter Russian aggression. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Pavlo Palamarchuk

Canadian and Ukrainian servicemen talk during the opening ceremony of a joint military exercises in Lviv, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Ukraine’s envoy says his country is growing concerned about whether Canada will continue its future military support to his country to help it deter Russian aggression. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Pavlo Palamarchuk

OTTAWA – Ukraine’s envoy says his country is growing concerned about whether Canada will continue its future military support to his country to help it deter Russian aggression.

Canada has deployed 200 troops to Ukraine in a non-combat mission working with Ukrainian troops on marksmanship, communication, survival and ethics training.

The mission is set to expire at the end of March.

But with thousands of U.S. troops arriving in Poland and neighbouring countries to bolster NATO forces, Ukraine — not a NATO member — is anxious to see an extension of Canada’s commitment to it.

“It has taken us much longer than we expected to discuss the future format of our co-operation,” Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, said in an interview.

“We still don’t have a formal response from Canada.”

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan offered no further clarification on Friday, saying in an email: “The announcement will come after cabinet has made a decision.”

Shevchenko suggested Canada might be more carefully weighing its military contributions to the West’s deterrence of Russia in eastern Europe in light of its upcoming responsibilities in Latvia.

The sooner a decision is made, he said, the sooner it will serve its purpose as deterrence to Russia.

“It could also be a very important signal to Russia,” he said.

“Those people who sit in the Kremlin and plan their other terrible activities in Ukraine, the sooner they learn that the West and Canada is serious about future co-operation, the better it is.”

Canada will be deploying 450 troops to Latvia in the coming months to form the core of a 1,000-plus battle group that will include troops from Span, Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia.

That is part of a broader NATO effort in which Germany, the United States and Britain will lead their own battle groups in Lithuania, Poland and Estonia.

Ukraine is not a NATO member but Russia’s annexation of its Crimea region in 2014 was the trigger for the current political crisis between the West and Russia, their worst since the end of the Cold War.

“Obviously we would like to see clarity on this issue as soon as possible,” said Shevchenko.

He said Canadian troops are also gaining valuable new experience from the Ukrainian counterparts they are supporting, including a better understanding of disruptive Russian tactics including cyberwarfare.

“We know the tools the Russians have been using against the free world when it comes to cyber security, and we would like to share this knowledge with Canada and the free world.”


 
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Ukraine envoy asks Canada to clarify length of mission

  1. Okay look….Canadians are tough, but they’re not THAT tough. LOL

    Bring ‘wm home.

  2. As a Canadian, i’m not really comfortable with knowing, Donald Trump will be Commander and Chief of our soldiers(not warriors) in theater while assisting the US on missions to nowhere. I felt comfortable with Obama, but having a to strong alliance with the new Trump administration, Canada has a far different type of foreign policy than Trump. Our government needs to take a long hard look at any other future missions the the US will be exercising its at ‘Autonomy’ in, not sure if Canada should be going into the conquering nation business.

    • The last time that I checked, Canada was an independent country.

  3. There needs to be an urgent clarification from Nato regarding Ukraine’s membership.

    • I meant to add that, of course, should Nato accept the Ukraine as a member, that would be a de facto provocation to Russia.

    • I meant to add that, of course, should Nato accept the Ukraine as a member, that would be a de facto provocation to Russia.
      This is an interesting game of chess … and Mr. Putin is a master.
      For decades, the USSR forced the emigration of Russians into neighbouring countries who would require future protection. The tactic is being applied by China in Tibet, Mongolia, and the South Asian Sea, and by Israel in Palestine.
      It is time for the UN to remove the veto privilege from all countries.

      • If you’ll permit me a tongue-in-cheek comment, would I be controversial for suggesting that the Arab world is forcing the emigration of Muslims for a future war with the West?
        In history, stranger things have happened.
        For example, the UK is unhappily bound to protect the wishes of the people of the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, and Northern Ireland (Cries of “Unfair” by Canadian Brits – Stage Left). ;-)

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