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         Ottawa – yesterday at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa Etobicoke Centre MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj in his capacity as Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group attended the signing of the historic Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement between Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Ukrainian Defence Minister General Stepan Poltorak.

        The signing of this agreement will help develop further Canada-Ukraine mutual cooperation in arenas of defence policy, defence research, development, and production, and military training and education.

        At yesterday’s ceremonies and this morning during a special joint session of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Wrzesnewskyj underscored two key points in his remarks to the Ukrainian Defence Minister and the Ukrainian delegation.

        “The significant symbolic importance of Prime Minister Trudeau’s choosing Ukraine as his second bilateral state visit, following his official visit to Washington, sent a clear message. Furthermore, Prime Minister Trudeau is the only Western leader to have visited Yavoriv Training Centre where Canadian Armed Forces are training Ukrainian soldiers,” stated Wrzesnewskyj.

        The second point raised by Wrzesnewskyj related to Zapad 2017, the military mobilization in Russia and Belarus this September, described by analysts as the largest Russian military exercise in history.

        “Our training mission in Ukraine Operation UNIFIER and our leadership of a 1,000-strong NATO battle group in Latvia under Operation REASSURANCE will place Canada to the north and south of Russia’s Zapad 2017 military exercises. This Canadian presence in the region sends a strong message to Putin who continues to use brute military force, as well as clandestine hybrid operations to destabilize neighbouring countries Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states,” said Wrzesnewskyj.

        The signing of the historic Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement follows on the heels of the passage in the House of Commons of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and the extension for two years of Operation UNIFIER, through the support of all parties in the House of Commons.

        “These three developments vis-à-vis Canada-Ukraine relations underscore the depth and unanimous parliamentary support of the ‘special relationship’ that exists between our two countries,” concluded Wrzesnewskyj.

        Link to National Defence press release:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/ 2017/04/government_of_canadasignsdefencecooperationarrangementwithukrain.html


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