Canada continues to engage Ukraine, France and Belgium

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly

OTTAWA, Canada – Mélanie Joly, minister of foreign affairs, today announced that she will be traveling to Europe to meet directly with several of her European counterparts and reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The minister’s meetings will build on Canada’s previous and ongoing engagement, including with NATO and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and focus on Russia’s aggression and ongoing destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine. Minister Joly will emphasize the importance of collective security and the role it plays in upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; build on Canada’s already strong relationships with its European counterparts and work to strengthen international cooperation to advance democracy and human rights internationally.

Throughout its history, Canada has played a significant role in the creation and upholding of the rules-based international order, which is instrumental to the preservation of global peace and security. When these rules are challenged, Canada must stand up and work with its allies to prevent their deterioration.

In Kyiv, Ukraine, the minister will meet with prime minister Denys Shmyhal and deputy prime minister Olga Stefanishyna. She will also meet with Canadian Armed Forces troops deployed on Operation UNIFIER to thank them directly for their important training mission in support of the security forces of Ukraine.

“The amassing of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes security in the entire region. These aggressive actions must be deterred. Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and preserve the human rights and dignity of Ukrainians,” said minister Joly.

In Paris, France, she will have a bilateral meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s minister for Europe and foreign affairs. In Brussels, Belgium, minister Joly will sit down with Sophie Wilmès, Belgium’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, European affairs and foreign trade; and Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general. The minister will also meet Josep Borrell, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy.

Minister Joly will depart on Sunday, January 16, and return on Saturday, January 22. All COVID-19 related public health rules and guidelines will be followed before, during and after the minister’s trip.

Quick facts

  • Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 440 individuals and entities, many in coordination with our allies.
  • Canada’s contributions to NATO demonstrate its unwavering commitment to the Alliance, and strengthen Allied capacity to respond to the evolving security environment.

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