Channel 1 Los Angeles
August 24, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement:
“Today, on the 29th anniversary of achieving independence, we wish all Ukrainians a very happy Independence Day.
“Nearly three decades ago, Canada became the first Western country to recognize the independence of Ukraine and since then has been proud to work closely with Ukrainians on their journey to becoming a vibrant and peaceful democracy.
“Canada continues to be a close friend of Ukraine, working to advance peace and security in the region. Through Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces are assisting the Security Forces of Ukraine (SFU) to improve and build their capability and capacity. Since the start of the mission in September 2015, we have trained more than 18,000 members of the National Guard of Ukraine and the SFU.
“We continue to work hand in hand with our allies in conducting joint delivery of training, such as the Maritime Training Initiative piloted by the United Kingdom. Canada, alongside coalition partners Sweden and Denmark, under the stewardship of the United Kingdom, will provide the SFU with world-class naval expertise and training starting this fall.
“Our common values and mutual cooperation has been the bedrock of our enduring relationship, from supporting Ukraine’s reform efforts to engaging more women in peace and security. These common values have served us well in the past and continue to do so, most recently as our nations have come together to jointly advocate for accountability, transparency, justice and reparations for the families and loved ones of victims of Flight PS752.
“Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains steadfast, and we will always remain a tireless advocate for a free and democratic Ukraine on its path toward a prosperous and secure future.”