July 1, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky started his three-day visit to Canada. The head of the Ukrainian state has already met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
In addition, Zelensky met with David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, representatives of the Ukrainian community of Canada, and participated in the International Conference on Supporting Reforms in Ukraine.
What agreements have been reached between Ukraine and Canada and what the President of Ukraine has managed to make important? Let's start with statements on key positions.
Cooperation with the IMF
During a meeting in Canada with IMF Deputy Managing Director David Lipton, Zelensky has underlined that cooperation with the International Monetary Fund remains a priority for the Ukrainian authorities. The President of Ukraine also invited the IMF delegation to visit Kyiv to agree on a new program immediately after the formation of a new government. He also confirmed the intentions of cooperation with the IMF during a meeting with the World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller.
"We want to deepen cooperation. Today we met with the IMF delegation, during which Ukraine’s support was confirmed. We are ready to join the new program after the formation of the new government," Zelensky said.
At a meeting with Lipton, Zelensky stressed that Ukraine "is committed to carrying out important reforms aimed at sustainable economic development."
It was about the introduction of a land market, as well as reforms of law enforcement agencies, the energy sector, and large-scale privatization.
Donbas and Crimea are Ukraine
During a conference on Ukraine’s reforms, Zelensky said that it was impossible to talk about Ukraine’s development without touching upon Donbas and Crimea issue.
He stressed that Ukraine should return not only its territory but also its people.
"They should not lose the link with Ukraine. They are our citizens. And today they are afraid. They have a Ukrainian passport, they are given “passports” of “Luhansk/Donetsk People’s Republics,” and now they are also offered to get Russian ones. It's terrible because they are made to confuse the question “Who are we?” They are Ukrainians. Whatever language they speak. And we need to realize this, the whole country, if we really want them back. Obviously, this is a difficult question that has come up for Ukraine. We will never stop telling: Donbas and Crimea are Ukraine," Zelensky stated.
"I am sure we will force Russia to stop the escalation ..."
According to the President of Ukraine, it is possible to achieve progress in establishing peace in Donbas only by political and diplomatic means.
"I am confident that we will achieve real progress only through political and diplomatic means and in the end, we will force Russia to stop the escalation, establish a permanent cease-fire, ensure the withdrawal of forces and the release of all our Ukrainian prisoners," Zelensky said.
At the same time, the policy of sanctions against Russia is an effective tool in the settlement of Donbas conflict.
In turn, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has assured that Canada is ready to strengthen sanctions against Russia.
“In our opinion, it is very important that Russia truly demonstrates positive actions. We will continue to stand firmly on the side of Ukraine, including imposing sanctions on Russian officials. We will always do this because we are friends of Ukraine,” Trudeau stressed.
What did Ukraine and Canada manage to agree on?
Supplies of armored vehicles
“I think we can speak frankly about this: we agreed on the supply of armored vehicles and on developing cooperation in this area,” Zelensky said after negotiations with Trudeau.
Ukraine’s President noted that he did not want to disclose the details yet.
Expansion of the FTA Agreement
Ukraine and Canada intend to expand bilateral economic cooperation and the operation of the bilateral agreement on free trade in services and investments.
According to Zelensky, in the near future, these agreements will be enshrined in the relevant documents.
“This means that Ukrainian IT specialists and entrepreneurs from different industries will have the opportunity to better cooperate with Canada without leaving Ukraine. This means more jobs, better relations between our countries,” he said.
Oil and gas areas
During a meeting with Trudeau, Zelensky said that Canadian Vermilion Energy company will be engaged in the development of three oil and gas areas in Ukraine.
“I sincerely congratulate Canadian companies on investments in our country, such as Brookfield, TIU, Black Iron, Vermilion. Yesterday, the Ukrainian company together with the Canadian company Vermilion Energy won the right to develop oil and gas areas,” Ukraine’s president said.
Visa regime for youth
Zelensky has noted that Ukraine and Canada are preparing to sign an agreement on youth mobility. According to him, the document will allow Ukrainians and Canadians to travel under the simplified procedure for up to one year to study and work.
“I would very much like Ukrainian youth to gain knowledge and experience here,” Zelensky said.
Joint film projects
Ukraine and Canada have signed an agreement on the production of audiovisual works, which will allow countries to make joint film projects.
"A joint agreement on the joint production of audiovisual works has just been signed. It is positive that Ukraine will be able to make joint film projects with Canada, the birthplace of such actors like Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, and many others. Believe me that Ukraine has no less talented actors," Zelensky said.
Zelensky invited Trudeau to Ukraine
“I know that today CN Tower will be highlighted with yellow and blue colors. This is incredibly pleasant, and it is a great honor for us. I promise, when you visit Ukraine, by the way, I officially invite you, Mr. Trudeau, we will certainly show respect to you, to Canada, to all your citizens," Ukrainian president noted.