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Archived - Minister of National Defence Visits Ukraine and Poland
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C, M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence, will arrive in Ukraine tomorrow to reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support in the wake of Russian aggression in that country. Following his time in Ukraine, the Minister will be visiting the Republic of Poland to meet with Polish government officials to further promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.
During his time in Kyiv, Minister Nicholson will be hosted by the Minister of Defence, Colonel General Stepan Poltorak. Both Ministers will make an announcement to enhance bilateral relations between the two nations.
While in Warsaw, Minister Nicholson will visit with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tomasz Siemoniak as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna. Minister Nicholson will also participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and will visit the CAF members deployed in Poland on Operation REASSURANCE.
- Canada and Ukraine are committed to continue working together to strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian Government and its security forces, to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its people.
- In August, Canada donated non-lethal military supplies to Ukraine, including a range of targeted protection, medical and logistical equipment such as helmets, ballistic eyewear, protective vests, first aid kits, tents and sleeping bags.
- In November, Canada further donated cold weather clothing, with approximately 3 000 pairs of boots 2 400 coats, 3 500 pants and 3 300 pairs of gloves transported to the Ukranian Armed Forces via Royal Canadian Air Force CC177 Globemaster airlifter.
- This donation is part of a larger Canadian commitment of non-lethal military supplies, which will be shipped to Ukraine early in the new year. The overall donation will include 30 000 coats, 30 000 pairs of pants, 70 000 pairs of Gore-Tex boots and 4 500 pairs of gloves, in addition to tactical communications systems, explosive ordinance disposal equipment, tactical medical kits, and night vision googles.
- Canada and Poland enjoy positive bilateral defence relations dating back to their close cooperation in the Second World War. Canada was the first country to ratify the Accession Protocols for Polish accession to NATO in 1999. Since 1997, more than 400 senior Polish officers have been trained in Canada. Canada and Poland are among the strongest international supporters of Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms.
- The Canadian Army has often trained with the Polish Army in the past: Parachutists trained together in Quebec during Exercise RAFALE BLANCHE in January and February 2014; they did winter training together in Newfoundland and Labrador during Exercise NORTHERN SAPPER in February 2014; and the Canadian Army joined Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian counterparts in Lithuania during Exercise MAPLE ARCH September 2013.
- 120 Canadian soldiers are currently deployed in Poland and have been training with NATO allies as part of Operation REASSURANCE since early May 2014. The Canadian Army has participated in a number of NATO training exercises in Poland this year as part of Operation REASSURANCE, including: Exercise ANAKONDA, Exercise GNIEZNO and Exercise PEGASUS KORSARZ.
“Canada enjoys strong and enduring friendships with our allies in Central and Eastern Europe based on our shared values of freedom, international peace and security. Canada stands firm our commitment to the people of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and Poland is a staunch NATO ally and a key partner in ensuring the security and sovereignty of all NATO member nations. I look forward to meeting my counterparts and building on our productive relationships.”
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, PC, QC, MP for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence
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Press Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
Office of the Minister of the Department of National Defence
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