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“It is important that our soldiers be better equipped,” says Mélanie Joly

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(Toronto) The Canadian Armed Forces should be better equipped to face new challenges in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Friday.

In a speech at the Munk School of International Affairs at the University of Toronto, Mr.me Joly pointed to the stakes that changed on the world stage after Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to start a war against Ukraine.

“It is important that our soldiers are better equipped. It is important because the world has changed. And we have to be able to face new challenges,” she said.

“We take stock of what Germany has done, increasing its military and defense budget. And in that sense, I think we have to work with the armed forces to make sure we are ready,” she added.

Mme Joly added that NATO and Canada are ready to deal with any new Russian aggression.

“NATO made sure we reinforced the eastern flank,” she said. Canada took the lead in ensuring that we would provide more forces and that is obviously a top priority for the government. »

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has hinted that more money may be flowing to the military in the next federal budget.

Among NATO allies, the goal is to make defense spending equal to 2% of the size of national economies. The latest figures from the alliance put Canada’s defense spending at 1.39% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2021.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has united Western nations like never before and strengthened NATO, said the Canadian foreign minister.

Mme Joly said “there’s nothing quite like having a single villain” to join forces against.

” President [Vladimir] Putin has sought to divide the West and exploit our differences, but we are more united than ever,” she argued.

Canada is working with its G7 and NATO allies to send military equipment to Ukraine, Ms.me Pretty.

“It’s important for […] the Ukrainians to be able to defend themselves and stop the bombing of civilians, but this also has an impact on the diplomatic level, because it is a way for Ukraine to be stronger at the negotiating table”, a- she argued.

Mme Joly reiterated that the government is ready to bring in an unlimited number of Ukrainian refugees and that officials are considering possible air bridges from neighboring countries in Europe to bring them to Canada.

Canada is also helping Eastern European countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, including Moldova, Romania and Poland, by funding UN agencies that help refugees, Ms.me Pretty.

“We have provided 200 million in humanitarian aid. We work with the UN and its various agencies, including the UNHCR, she said. Special interest and support should be given to Moldova, as it is one of the poorest countries in Europe. »

More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion began 23 days ago.

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