Canada extended the UNIFER, the Canadian Armed Forces military training mission in Ukraine, till the end of March 2022, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canada’s Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan stated that, the government press-service reports.
“While Ukraine’s defence and security forces continue to make considerable progress, ongoing insecurity in the region underscores the importance and relevance of Canada’s military mission,” reads the statement.
Operation UNIFIER supports Ukraine’s broader reform agenda and contributes to current Canadian efforts that invest in democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine.
“Through Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to provide military training and capacity building assistance to Ukraine’s defence and security forces. The training provided by the Canadian Armed Forces directly helps Ukraine’s defence and security forces to uphold domestic security and territorial integrity, contributing to regional and international stability,” reads the statement.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed his gratitude for extending the mandate.
"This stands not only as a symbol of support of Ukraine in the face of the Russian aggression, which is a threat to the Free World as a whole but also means practical assistance in training the Ukrainian military. Grateful to the Canadian military for the skills imparted to a new Ukrainian Army. Proud that our defenders also share their experience learned from Kremlin’s hybrid war. Our unity is a key to the victory," reads the President's message on his official Facebook page.
“Our solidarity is a guarantee of secure future of the entire Euro-Atlantic community. Russia is afraid of strong Ukraine supported by reliable allies. And I am glad that Canada is among our reliable allies, but also among our real partners and closest friends,” the President writes.
Since the start of the training in September 2015, the Canadian Armed Forces has trained more than 10,800 Ukrainian service members to be self-sufficient in their training delivery and in the conduct of military operations.
Canada continues to provide a broad range of assistance (development, financial, humanitarian, non-lethal military) to Ukraine, totaling more than $750 million since January 2014.
The Canadian Armed Forces support the professional development of Ukraine’s defence and security forces through a range of training activities including combined arms training, military engineering, logistics, military policing, and medical training.
Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada deploys approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine.
On March 15, 2019, Canada announced, in coordination with the European Union and the United States, new sanctions in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
From July 2 to 4, 2019, Canada will host the third Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto. The conference will bring together, among others, foreign ministers from the European Union, the G7 and NATO countries to support Ukraine and its people, in meeting their ambitious democratic and economic reform programme and Euro-Atlantic goals.