Defence Minister Anita Anand announces military aid for Ukraine at the twelfth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group
May 25, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, and General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, participated via video link in the twelfth Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. During the meeting, Allies and partners discussed the current battlefield situation in Ukraine and reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes by providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance.
Minister Anand announced that Canada is expanding its presence in Poland under Operation UNIFIER. Five additional Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) medical trainers will be deployed to Poland to join the seven CAF members already deployed on the advanced medical skills training program for Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel. These additional CAF members will double the number of potential Ukrainian graduates.
The Minister also noted that under Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces and Latvian National Armed Forces began jointly delivering Junior Officer leadership development training for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on May 15. This line of effort was recently announced by Minister Anand during the visit to Canada of the Minister of Defence of Latvia, InÄra MÅ«rniece. Since the start of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, the CAF has trained more than 36,000 members of the Security Forces of Ukraine in battlefield tactics and advanced military skills, with more than 2,400 trained since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Minister Anand further announced that Canada is donating 43 AIM-9 missiles to Ukraine, from CAF inventory, and noted that this donation will help Ukraine to secure its skies in the face of ongoing Russian attacks.
The Minister also noted that delivery of the donation packages of small arms and ammunition announced in April is on track. Machine guns, assault rifles, cleaning kits, and magazines have already been delivered to Ukraine, and 1 million rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and 4,800 assault rifles are scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks. All 21,000 small arms and 2.4 million rounds of ammunition are expected to be in Ukraine by the summer.
Thanks to the ongoing work of the Royal Canadian Air Force detachment in Prestwick, Scotland, Canada has now transported over nine million pounds of Ukraine-bound military aid donated by Canada, Allies, and partners within Europe.
Canada remains committed to working closely with Allies and partners to provide Ukraine with the support it needs as it continues its brave fight against Russia's illegal and unjustifiable war.
"Canada's support for Ukraine is unwavering. When I travel across Canada, I see Ukrainian flags on homes, small businesses, and cars - because Canadians understand that Ukraine's fight to defend itself is also a fight for sovereignty, freedom, and independence. At today's productive meeting, we discussed Ukraine's most pressing defence priorities, and I reaffirmed that Canada will be there to support Ukraine in the short and the long-term."
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) was created by the United States Secretary of Defense in April 2022 to provide a strategic mechanism to identify critical equipment needs and gaps for Ukraine, allow Allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult, and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Convening monthly at the ministerial level, the UDCG now brings together nearly 50 countries.
Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $8 billion in aid to Ukraine, including over $1 billion in military assistance. This includes eight Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks and one armoured recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more.
More than 300 CAF members are now deployed under Op UNIFER in various roles such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations to Ukraine in coordination with our Allies and partners.
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