After the United States, Zelensky is in Canada
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, continues his tour of North America with a visit Friday to Canada, which has supported him since the very beginning of the Russian invasion. Late Thursday evening, President Zelensky landed from the United States in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who assured him of “unwavering support” of Canada in its conflict with Russia.
Volodymyr Zelensky, accompanied by his Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov, is due to meet the Governor General of Canada, Mary Simon, and deliver a speech to the Canadian Parliament. With Justin Trudeau, he must then fly to the metropolis Toronto, where the two heads of state will meet business leaders and members of the Canadian-Ukrainian community.
Canada, the last G7 country to be visited by the leader, has the second largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world after Russia with some 1.4 million people of Ukrainian origin on its territory. This is the first official visit by the Ukrainian president to Canadian soil since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. In March, Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Canadian parliamentarians by videoconference.
“The Ukrainian people are the spearhead that, at this moment, determines the future of the 21ste century “, declared Prime Minister Trudeau in a press release Thursday evening. He assured that Canada would remain alongside Ukraine “as long as it takes” and that the country would continue to provide “unwavering support for the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their sovereignty and democracy”.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Canada has committed more than $8.9 billion in support to Ukraine through a wide range of measures, “including $4.95 billion in direct financial support and more than $1.8 billion in military aid”.
Ottawa has also trained more than 36,000 Ukrainian troops and provided military assistance, including eight Leopard 2 main battle tanks, an armored recovery vehicle, 39 armored vehicles, anti-tank weapons, drones and communications equipment by satellite.
Justin Trudeau visited Ukraine in June and notably announced that Ottawa would participate in multinational efforts to train Ukrainian fighter pilots.