(Ottawa) Canada will purchase a US-made surface-to-air missile system for Ukraine.
The transaction was announced following the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden on Tuesday afternoon. Both men are currently in Mexico City, Mexico as part of the North American Leaders Summit.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is calling on his allies for anti-aircraft defense systems to continue repelling the Russian invader, welcomed the purchase of a National Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) by Ottawa, which does not have this equipment in its arsenal.
“Dear Justin Trudeau, your true leadership in the defense of democracy and human rights has once again been clearly demonstrated. Thank you for helping us protect our skies. The NASAMS that Canada purchased for us will be a strong shield for our cities and citizens,” President Zelensky wrote.
National Defense Minister Anita Anand, who had opened the door to such support, informed her Ukrainian counterpart of the Canadian offering. “NASAMS has a very high success rate, and it is a very valuable gift to the defense of Ukraine,” she wrote on Twitter, among other things.
The cost of a NASAMS is about 406 million, the Department of National Defense said. Much of this money comes from the $500 million in additional military aid to Ukraine announced last November.
Crisis in Haiti
The discussion between the leaders also focused on the situation in Haiti. Prior to their closed-door conversation, in front of reporters, President Biden mentioned the issue, while Prime Minister Trudeau did not.
Washington is pressuring Ottawa to take the reins of an intervention mission to stabilize the situation in the country, where criminal gangs have been making rain and shine for several months, in a context of failing governance.
“The United States believes it is important to find a country to help lead this effort. […] This will be an important priority for us in this bilateral meeting,” US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in Mexico City on Monday.
Adding that Canada “itself had expressed interest in taking a leadership role,” he said the contours of potential foreign support on the island needed to be thoroughly discussed. According to the summaries from Ottawa and Washington, there was no significant development on Tuesday.
The White House minutes read that the two men “committed to continued coordination with UN Security Council partners on next steps to support stability in Haiti, including the support for the Haitian National Police”.
Progress on Nexus
There also appears to be progress in resolving the backlog in processing applications for membership in the Nexus program, an irritant that has persisted for months between the two countries, and which was beginning to bring the Canadian government out of its hinges.
While Nexus enrollment centers in the United States have been open since April, all 13 centers in Canada have remained closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Their closure has caused the backlog of applications to explode, which numbered more than 330,000 last October.
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino is expected to provide an update later today.
Biden’s official visit in March
The President of the United States took advantage of the tête-à-tête with his Canadian counterpart to confirm that he would be making his first official visit to Canada in a few months. The White House tenant reported “that he is looking forward to traveling to Canada next March,” according to an account from Washington.
The Summit of North American Leaders, colloquially known as the “Summit of the Three Amigos”, opened Monday in the Mexican capital, was also an opportunity to address other issues, including the thorny issue of migration. irregular.
The next trilateral meeting between Canada, the United States and Mexico should theoretically take place in Canada.