March 6, 2017 – Toronto – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs today announced that the Government of Canada is extending Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces military training mission in Ukraine, until the end of March 2019.
Through Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces provides military training and capacity-building assistance to Ukrainian Forces personnel in support of Ukraine’s efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability.
Together with our allies and the Government of Ukraine, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to support the professional development and enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces through a range of training activities such as:
•small team training
•explosive ordnance disposal
•logistics system modernisation
The Canadian Armed Forces will also be transitioning over time to support strategic institutional reform of Ukraine’s defence establishment.
“The Government of Canada is committed to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they work to build a more secure, stable and prosperous country, and Canada continues to be at the forefront of the international community’s response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. I am proud of the talented and dedicated women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who contribute to a more stable world as we demonstrate our reliability as a partner to our allies and our commitment to European security.”
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Defence
“Canada is unwavering in its support to Ukraine, both in helping to preserve and protect Ukraine’s sovereignty, and in providing assistance to Ukraine to implement key reforms. Operation UNIFIER represents a critical piece of our multifaceted support to Ukraine. It supports the professional development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who are essential for deterring aggression and creating a safe space for the sustainable social and economic development that the people of Ukraine want and deserve.”
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Our highly-skilled soldiers have provided valuable military training and capacity building to our partners in Ukraine, and they will now continue to do so. I am confident this renewed mission will help the Ukrainian Armed Forces ensure stability in the region.”
Jonathan H. Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
• Operation UNIFIER supports broader Government of Canada efforts to advance democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine through development, financial, humanitarian, and non-lethal military assistance.
• Canada has provided a broad range of assistance (development, financial, humanitarian, non-lethal military) to Ukraine, totaling more than $700 million since January 2014.
• Canada has contributed over $16 million in non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces.
• The extension of Operation UNIFIER will continue to involve approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed in Ukraine.
• Since the start of the training in September 2015, more than 3200 Ukrainian Armed Forces members have been trained by the Canadian Armed Forces.