Canadian foreign minister notes that supply of weapons to Ukraine is ‘on the table’

19 January 2022, 03:42 PM

The Canadian government has “duly noted” Ukrainian requests for supplies of Canadian weapons, Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly told Ukrainian news outlet Yevropeiska Pravda on Jan.19.

According to the minister, Canada's government will explore the question of sending weapons to Ukraine.

“We’re acutely aware of how important our role is in this context, and will therefore explore some options before arriving at a decision in a timely manner,” said Joly.

Her comments marked a change of tone from a televised interview she gave last week, when she pivoted away from a question about Canada’s plans to support Ukraine with weapons in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

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Ukraine has ramped up military aid requests from allied and partner states since the start of the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border in late October.

There are currently around 200 Canadian military service members in Ukraine, training and advising the Ukrainian Armed Forces. A contingent from the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, an elite unit of the Canadian Armed Forces, has also been deployed to Ukraine, according to media reports on Jan. 18.

The Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border was first widely reported in early December 2021, with several media outlets speculating that Russia might invade Ukraine with a force of 175,000 troops in early 2022.

The Kremlin denies gearing up for invasion, and has instead accused Ukraine of planning false flag operations, as well as of drawing up plans to use force to restore Kyiv’s control over territories lost since 2014.

The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and EU officials. According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.

The U.K. delivered light anti-tank weapons to Ukraine on Jan. 19, and plans to provide additional military aid.

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