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Visit of the President of the European Commission | Justin Trudeau announces increased support for Ukraine



(OTTAWA) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced increased support for Ukraine and a new hydrogen deal with Europe on Tuesday, alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Trudeau said Canada will extend the engineering training mission in Ukraine until at least next fall. Canadian medical trainers will also be deployed to help Ukrainian forces acquire combat medical skills.

“Canada is already doing far more than its fair share compared to others and going far beyond what is necessary. So I want to thank Canada for that,” said von der Leyen at a joint press conference with Mr. Trudeau in Kingston, Ont.

She added that the military training operation Canada launched in Ukraine in 2015 had an impact on the initial successes of “much better trained” Ukrainian troops after the Russian invasion began in February 2022.

Trudeau announced that Ottawa will spend $3 million to support the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Ukraine, in addition to the $32 million already invested in mine action in the country. The European Union (EU) is investing €43 million in the same effort.

The EU has now named Canada as a partner country on economic sanctions against Russia, and the two are working together to supply Canadian power transformers to support Ukraine’s electricity grid.

Mr. Trudeau reiterated that Canada would be present as long as necessary alongside Europe to support Ukraine.

Ottawa also signed a new hydrogen accord with the European Union, which Prime Minister Trudeau says will mobilize investment, support businesses and deliver clean energy on both sides of the Atlantic.

As part of broader discussions on climate change and clean energy, von der Leyen said Canada and the EU had made progress on an agreement on critical minerals, signed in 2021. She described these minerals as “the cornerstone of the clean economy”.

Canada and the EU are also considering a joint “green alliance” that would focus on strengthening energy and climate cooperation at all levels.

Mr. Trudeau and von der Leyen were at the military base in Kingston in the morning to meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces deployed in Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.

In the evening, von der Leyen will address the House of Commons to discuss Canada’s ties to Europe and mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

She is also due to meet Governor General Mary Simon on Wednesday morning.

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