(Brussels) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Monday with the position that Canada reiterates its support for Ukraine, but without specifying whether he will support Kiev in its desire to join the military alliance. amid tensions with Russia.
The federal government said last week that Canada will continue to help address security threats in the region. However, Ottawa was silent on its position on Ukraine’s NATO membership at the summit.
Ukraine’s invitation to join NATO precedes the first face-to-face meeting this week in Geneva between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, after years of strained relations between Moscow and Western countries.
Russia’s military build-up on the Ukrainian border, Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, alleged Russian interference in the US elections, and allegations that the Kremlin was behind the SolarWinds cyberattack all contributed to exacerbating tensions.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has publicly lobbied to join the military alliance, recently raising the issue in one-on-one talks with Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden.
A statement from the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office stated that M. Trudeau and Zelensky exchanged views on the actions taken by Russia. Justin Trudeau also expressed Canada’s “continued support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations” during their discussions last Tuesday.
Asked if Canada supports Ukraine in its efforts to join NATO, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Trudeau said there was nothing to add.
The question remained unanswered by Global Affairs Canada. The department says Canada “remains steadfast in its support of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the people of Ukraine.”
He also noted that the Allies decided at the 2008 summit that Ukraine would eventually “join” the organization.
The Canadian government has in the past supported Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed Canada’s “strong support” for the demand, praising Ukraine’s democratic reforms and shared values between the two countries.
At the time, Mr. Harper called on leaders to accept allowing Ukraine to proceed with the accession process and pledged that Canada would support the candidacy, as long as the country “continues to make progress on democratic reform. and opens its ‘economy’.”
A spokesman for Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement that the party still shared that view.
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