< /p> UPDATE DAY
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced Friday that she will travel to Kyiv to reaffirm Canada's unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, amid tensions growing with Russia.
“The concentration of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes the security of the entire region. Russia must be deterred from continuing these aggressive actions,” the minister said in a statement.
During her visit, the Minister will have the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna. She will also meet with Canadian Armed Forces troops deployed on Operation UNIFIER. So far, Canada maintains a group of approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members in Ukraine as part of this mission. The soldiers, who notably train the military there, must remain there until March 2022.
Ms. Joly will take advantage of her time on the European continent to make stops in France and Belgium. In Paris, she will have a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian. In Brussels, the Minister will meet the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belgium, Sophie Wilmès, and the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. The Minister will also meet with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.
The Minister's trip to Europe will take place from January 16 to 22, in compliance with sanitary measures.