Thursday, February 29, 2024

Second Canadian ship departs for NATO support mission

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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HALIFAX – A second Canadian warship left the port of Halifax on Saturday for a six-month deployment in North Atlantic and Northern European waters in support of NATO. The day before, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened an Incident Response Group to discuss Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

HMCS Halifax will be a member of NATO’s Permanent Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) in the reinsurance process, “to support NATO’s deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe”.

According to National Defense Minister Anita Anand, Halifax’s contribution to NATO’s deterrence measures will help Europe maintain its “power and sovereignty”.

“It is very important for all of us to stand united, to stand together against Russia’s unjustified and illegal aggression, and to uphold peace, deterrence and the defensive posture on which NATO is based,” he said. the late.

The frigate Halifax has 253 crew members. It will be deployed with an integrated air detachment operated by a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter.

HMCS Montreal was deployed in January in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Ms. Anand did not answer questions at Saturday’s event, but said HMCS’ leaving Halifax was part of Canada’s growing commitment to NATO.

The organization’s countries aim to allocate 2% of their national economy to defense, and the latest figures show that the defense budget corresponds to only 1.39% of GDP in 2021 in Canada.

“It’s a tangible result of the Canadian government’s increased commitments to NATO, and what (HMCS) Halifax is actually doing is part of that commitment,” she said, without providing concrete numbers.

Trudeau’s Incident Response Group praised Canada’s support for NATO’s efforts in Europe and its participation in Operation REASSURANCE, which was renewed a year ahead of schedule.

“The Prime Minister and Ministers agreed to continue working with allies and international partners to support Ukraine as it seeks to manage the security and humanitarian challenges in the region,” the meeting record said.

The Incident Response Group, which was formed in 2018, is meeting to discuss crises in Canada and those that occur elsewhere in the world but have repercussions in the country.

Trudeau and other ministers reiterated Russia’s call to allow civilians access to humanitarian corridors.

The Prime Minister and Ministers reaffirmed Canada’s firm commitment to support the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They commended the remarkable courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of continued Russian aggression.

Trudeau plans to meet with NATO allies, the Group of Seven and European Union partners during a trip to Europe next week to push forward support for Ukraine.

This article was produced with financial support from Facebook and The Canadian Press News Fellowships.

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