PM Trudeau makes surprise visit to Ukraine to reopen Canadian Embassy


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise trip to Ukraine on Sunday amid the ongoing Russian invasion and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to show Canada's support for the country and its people.

In a joint news conference with Zelenskyy, Trudeau said that Canada would be providing more military assistance to Ukraine in the form of drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms, ammunition and funding for landmine clearing operations.

This announcement comes two weeks after Trudeau said Canada would be sending heavy artillery to Ukraine.

The prime minister also announced more sanctions on 40 Russian individuals and five entities. These include oligarchs and close associates of the Kremlin and Russia's defence sector.

"It is clear that Vladimir Putin is responsible for heinous war crimes. There must be accountability. Canada will support Ukraine as you seek justice for your people who Russia is killing and brutalizing," Trudeau told reporters on Sunday.

On top of that, Canada is providing $25 million to the World Food Programme for food security in Ukraine and removing trade tariffs for all Ukrainian imports to Canada, Trudeau announced. There will also be new funding for organizations in Ukraine supporting women's rights, civil society and human rights.

"We will continue to do whatever is necessary to stand with Ukraine, not just because it's the right thing or because Ukrainians are our friends, but because it is also standing for the principles of democracy that keep Canadians safe," Trudeau said.

The prime minister also participated in virtual meetings with G7 leaders to talk about the war in Ukraine. 

In a joint statement, G7 leaders committed to phasing out Russian energy, isolating Russia's economy, combatting wartime disinformation and continuing the sanctions against the Russian elite.

Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude and told reporters that the Canadian government's assistance to Ukraine has been more than sufficient, calling Canada a country that "we also cannot ask for more from."

On this visit, Trudeau was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

They arrived in Ukraine Sunday morning and began their visit touring the devastation in the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, which was badly bombed before Russian forces retreated.