Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that Canada will provide more support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, after the countries’ leaders met on the sidelines of the global climate conference in Paris. Trudeau and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held a closed-door bilateral meeting on Sunday, CBC News reported.
Canada, which has a large Ukrainian-descended population, remains opposed to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, Trudeau said in a statement Sunday. His meeting with Poroshenko came on the heels of the Holodomor anniversary, commemorating the 1932 and 1933 starvation of millions of Ukrainians under the Soviet regime.
“We believe that, along with the international community, Canada can play an important part in bringing this conflict to an end. As a country, we also remain committed to helping rebuild the democratic, economic and security institutions that will help Ukraine flourish once more,” Trudeau said.
During the meeting, Trudeau told Poroshenko that Ukraine has Canada’s full support in its struggle for territorial integrity and that he would visit at Poroshenko’s invitation, Ukrainian news agency Interfax reported. Trudeau has previously spoken out against Russian involvement in Ukraine, particularly during his recent election campaign, referring to President Vladimir Putin as a bully and calling Russia’s actions in Eastern Europe “dangerous.” Under the previous government, Canada also drew Russia’s ire in April when it deployed 200 military trainers to Ukraine on a noncombat mission.
“We remain committed to the fact that Russia’s interference in Ukraine must cease; that we stand with the Ukrainian people and expect the president to engage fully in the Minsk peace process,” Trudeau said earlier this month at the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.
The leaders also discussed the need to prepare a trade agreement, according to the Ukrainian president’s website.
“The Ukrainian and Canadian leaders emphasized the importance of deepening the special partnership between the states, particularly in trade and economic and military and technical areas,” the statement read.