Minister Anand concludes her first official trip to Europe

News release

February 3, 2022 – Riga, Latvia – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand concluded a weeklong trip to Europe, wherein she met with key Allies and partners in Ukraine, at NATO Headquarters, and in Latvia.

During her visit to Ukraine, Minister Anand emphasized Canada’s support for the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security. She met with Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Denys Monastyrsky, and visited with Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on the Operation UNIFIER training mission. Minister Anand also visited the PS752 Memorial, the Holomodor Memorial and the Memorial Wall to pay her respects on behalf of Canada.

On February 1st, Minister Anand met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. During the meeting, they discussed the security threat faced by Ukraine, as well as Canada’s recent announcement of a three-year extension and expansion of Operation UNIFIER. During the meeting, Minister Anand and Secretary General Stoltenberg also discussed:

  • Priorities for the upcoming NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting later this month;  
  • Ways to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture;
  • Canada’s ongoing work to establish and host a NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security; and
  • Canada’s commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

While in Latvia on the final stage of her trip, Minister Anand met with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, as well as Dr. Artis Pabriks, Latvia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence. They discussed Canada’s concerns with recent Russian activities and emphasized the importance of continued collaboration among NATO Allies to address transatlantic security challenges. Prime Minister Kariņš thanked Canada for its leadership role as the Framework Nation for the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, where Canada is contributing to assurance and deterrence measures alongside NATO Allies.

On the final day of her trip, the Minister – joined by the Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie – also visited Canadian troops deployed to Latvia and personally thanked them for their continued efforts to maintain security and stability in the region. She underscored how Canada’s continued presence in Latvia demonstrates its strong commitment to supporting NATO’s deterrence and defence efforts, which are critical to global security and the rules-based international order. 

Quotes

“Canada will always work with our partners and allies to protect the rules-based international order. I was glad to meet with my counterparts in Ukraine and Latvia, and the Secretary General of NATO, to discuss Canada’s ongoing commitment in this regard. I also saw first-hand the contributions of our Canadian Armed Forces to peace and stability in the region. Canada’s support for Euro-Atlantic security is unwavering.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy. Canada believes in and steadfastly supports NATO’s principle of collective defence and is providing direct support to NATO missions and operations

  • Currently, Canada is:

    • Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;
    • Periodically deploying CF-18 fighter aircraft to conduct surveillance and air policing activities in Europe;
    • Providing a Halifax-class frigate on a persistent, rotational basis to a Standing NATO Maritime Group, in support of maritime operations and to conduct deterrence and assurance activities. HMCS Montreal is currently deployed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two.  
    • Commodore Bradley Peats of the Royal Canadian Navy commanded Standing NATO Maritime Group One from January 2021 to January 2022.
    • Supporting training and capacity-building efforts in the Middle East under Operation IMPACT, including through NATO Mission Iraq; and
    • Deploying personnel to NATO’s Kosovo Force
  • As part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, Canada has assumed a leadership role as one of four Framework Nations and is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia. Canada’s contribution of up to 540 personnel, vehicles and equipment includes a headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, and combat service support based at Camp Ādaži.  

  • The extension and expansion in scope of Operation UNIFIER, announced on January 26, 2022, contributes to a whole-of-government effort to support Ukraine alongside the diplomatic efforts of Global Affairs Canada to deter and de-escalate Russia’s ongoing aggressive and destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine.

  • The recent extension and expansion of Canada’s military presence in support of Ukraine will ensure that members of the CAF will continue to provide enhanced military training and mentorship to Ukraine’s security forces through to the end of March 2025.

  • The expanded training mission includes an initial deployment of 60 additional troops, depending on need, building to a rotational deployment that can surge up to 400 CAF personnel. 

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Contacts

Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100
Email: Daniel.Minden@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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