Tensions in Ukraine | Justin Trudeau threatens Moscow with new sanctions

(Ottawa) Justin Trudeau said, on Wednesday, that Russia, which has massed its forces on the Ukrainian border, may face new Western sanctions.

Posted at 2:29 pm yesterday

Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Press

The prime minister appeared to confirm that Canada would renew its modest participation of 200 soldiers in the NATO training mission in Ukraine, amid heightened tensions between the West and Russia. Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Moscow has amassed 100,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an imminent invasion of the former Soviet republic by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The Ukrainian government is waiting for Canada to publicly renew its commitment, which is set to expire at the end of March, as part of NATO’s show of solidarity with Russia at a time of heightened tensions.

Trudeau on Wednesday noted Canada’s contributions to NATO on its eastern front, which are part of the 30-nation alliance’s efforts to counter the concentration of Russian forces on European borders.

Canada leads the NATO combat group in Latvia, with more than 500 soldiers, and leads the task of training troops in Ukraine – Operation “Unification”.

“We are all deeply concerned and united as allies around the world in calling for Russia to de-escalate and signaling that there will be significant consequences, in the form of sanctions, if Russia takes more aggressive action,” Trudeau declared. Wednesday at a press conference.

On Tuesday, in a telephone conversation with Mr Trudeau, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his call for an extension of Canada’s contribution to his country’s military mission.

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“We are proud that Canada led the NATO mission to the Baltic states in Latvia,” Trudeau said on Wednesday. We are participating in the unification process on the ground in Ukraine, for the training of Ukrainian soldiers. We will continue to be there to be a part of our NATO allies alongside our friends in the region. ”

During his plea with President Zelensky, Trudeau said he reiterated Canada’s “longstanding support and friendship to Ukraine” and “unequivocally condemned Russian aggression and the build-up of forces” at its doorstep.

On Wednesday, talks between NATO leaders and the Russians ended in an attempt to resolve the impasse in Brussels. Russia wants NATO to reject Ukraine’s request to join the military alliance – that NATO essentially halts its “expansion eastward”. NATO and the United States categorically reject this request from Moscow.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting on Wednesday that the two sides would set other dates to continue talks, but the way forward would not be easy given Moscow’s request.

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