(Brussels) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear at a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Monday to reiterate Canada’s support for Ukraine, but amid tensions with Russia over whether to support Kiev in its desire to join the military alliance.
The federal government said last week that Canada would continue to help overcome security threats in the region. However, Ottawa remained silent on its position on Ukraine’s NATO membership at the summit.
Ukraine’s invitation to join NATO comes ahead of the first face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva this week, following years of relations between Moscow and the West.
Russia’s military builders on the Ukrainian border, Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, allegations of Russian interference in US elections, and allegations that the Kremlin was behind the Solar Winds cyber attack have all served to heighten tensions.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky publicly urged him to join the military alliance, raising the issue in recent talks with Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden.
In a statement from the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, MM. Trudeau and Zhelensky exchanged views on the actions taken by Russia. Last Tuesday, Justin Trudeau “expressed Canada’s continued support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
When asked if Canada supports Ukraine in its efforts to join NATO, a spokesman for Prime Minister Trudeau said nothing.
Global Affairs has not answered this question from Canada. Canada is “committed to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to the support of the people of Ukraine,” the Department said.
He noted that at the 2008 summit, Ukraine had finally decided to “join” the organization.
The Canadian government has argued in the past that Ukraine is a member of NATO.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed “strong support” from Canada for the demand, praising Ukraine’s democratic reforms and the shared values of the two countries.
At that time, Mr. Harper called on leaders to allow Ukraine to advance in the process of access, and promised that Canada would support the candidacy, “the country continues to make progress in democratic reform. Its economy.”
The party still shares that view, Conservative leader Erin O’Dool’s spokeswoman said in a statement.
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