June 27, 2015 – Yavoriv (Ukraine) – National Defence
Defence Minister Jason Kenney visited Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel in Ukraine today. The CAF personnel are observing Ukrainian forces receiving training in order to further refine the training package that Canadians will provide to the Ukrainian military starting later this summer.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, right, and Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney, 2nd right, inspect an International Center for Peacemaking and Safety the Army Academy in the Lviv region, western Ukraine, Saturday, June 27, 2015. (PAVLO PALAMARCHUK / AP)
Minister Kenney delivered remarks during a joint press conference with Ukrainian Defence Minister Colonel-General Poltorak at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre.
Minister Kenney discussed Canada’s support for Ukraine by sending Canadian Forces personnel to strengthen Ukraine’s capacity to defend its sovereignty.
Minister Kenney also announced more than $15 million in additional Canadian support to democracy and institution building in Ukraine on behalf of International Development Minister Christian Paradis.
In Yavoriv, Minister Kenney toured the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre, the Ukrainian Army’s training facilities and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace training centre. Ukrainian Army Commander Lieutenant-General Pavlo Tkachuk, and the Canadian Task Force commander designate Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Guiney, accompanied the Minister.
Minister Kenney also saw a defensive firefighting demonstration, and had the opportunity to address the CAF personnel and thank them for their contributions.
A group of approximately 30 CAF personnel are in Ukraine from June 20 to July 4 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre to observe Ukrainian forces receiving training.
While the main focus of the CAF training to the Ukrainian forces will be on tactical soldier training, other training includes Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Improvised Explosive Device Disposal, military policing, medical treatment, flight safety, and logistics system modernization.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in April 2015 that Canada will deploy CAF personnel to Ukraine until March 31, 2017 to develop and deliver military training and capacity-building programs for Ukrainian forces personnel.
Through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the Government of Canada is providing more than $15 million in additional support to Ukrainian democracy and institution building efforts, including:
$3 million in funding to support improved investigative reporting in Ukraine to expose corruption and bring about accountability.
$12.4 million in funding to support fundamental judicial reform in Ukraine to help Ukrainian courts become more independent, fair and effective; and,
Support for risk education on improvised explosive devices for Ukrainian Civilians.
“Canada is fully engaged in supporting Ukraine in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability in the face of the Putin regime’s unjustified aggression. We have demonstrated our commitment through our contribution to Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its democracy and institutions, as well as the capacity building and training of Ukrainian government forces.”
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence