Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has called on Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom to send troops to Ukraine to prevent a possible Russian invasion.
“You have a training program with Ukraine. I think we can improve it. Instead of having 50 trainers, send 500,” Minister Reznikov said in an interview with the Foreign Ministry. Globe and Mail.
Canada is currently participating in Operation UNIFIER in Ukraine, which aims to train Ukrainian security forces. To do this, a battalion of 200 soldiers was deployed in Kiev, which became the headquarters of the training operation last May.
This is insufficient in the eyes of Mr. Reznikov, who has called on Canada and other Anglo-Saxon countries to deploy their trainers near the Ukraine-Russia border, rather than keeping them west of the country.
The request comes as a Canadian delegation led by Secretary of State Melanie Jolie and Chief of Staff Wayne Air just completed a visit to Ukraine at a time when Russia was massing its forces on the border.
Far from intending to commit troops, General Ayer, who has just been formally appointed commander of the Canadian Army, confirmed in an interview with Globe Thursday, the priority should be diplomacy in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. According to him, sending an army could have the opposite effect that Kiev sought and provoked Moscow, rather than discouraging the invasion.
Meanwhile, Minister Jolie discussed the matter with her counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did the same on Thursday. She shared her concerns briefly with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In an interview with National PostMinister Jolie noted that Canada maintains its 200 troops in Ukraine, and noted that Ottawa is working on measures to discourage Russia from going ahead with the invasion.
“Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic.”