Defence Minister Anand concludes visit to Brussels, Belgium, for Ukraine Defense Contact Group and NATO Defence Ministers’ Meetings

News release

June 16, 2022 – Brussels, Belgium – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, Minister Anand concluded a successful visit to Brussels, Belgium, where she attended a meeting of the United States-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group and a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Defence Ministers.

On June 15, Minister Anand was joined by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, hosted by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. During this meeting, representatives of over 50 countries discussed responses to Ukraine’s current and future defence needs. Minister Anand announced $9 million in additional Canadian military aid for Ukraine, namely, replacement barrels for M777 Howitzers. This complements our previous donation of M777 Howitzers, compatible ammunition, and training of Ukrainian Forces in the use of this equipment.

On the same day, Minister Anand met with her Ukrainian counterpart, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov. Minister Anand reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to continue providing Ukraine with the military equipment that it needs to defend its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and the two ministers discussed how Canada’s military aid can best address Ukraine’s top defence priorities.

Minister Anand also held a bilateral meeting with her Latvian counterpart, Dr. Artis Pabriks, where she restated Canada’s steadfast commitment to the security of our Baltic Allies. The two ministers discussed Canada’s recent addition of troops and capabilities to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia, and Minister Anand reiterated that Canada is deploying a General Officer and Staff Officers to the Headquarters of NATO’s Multinational Division North, based in Adazi, Latvia.

On June 15 and 16, Defence Minister Anita Anand participated in the NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting where Allies had the opportunity to meet with close partners and address key shared priorities in preparation for the NATO Summit in Madrid later this month. During the meeting, defence ministers discussed ongoing efforts to support Ukraine. Discussions centred on strengthening NATO’s longer term deterrence and defence posture and further bolstering our forces’ readiness to face ongoing and future security challenges.

On June 16, Minister Anand held a bilateral meeting with Portugal’s Defence Minister, Helena Carreiras and met with Spain’s Defence Minister, Margarita Robles. Minister Anand also spoke with U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, and NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, about Canada’s ongoing efforts to support Ukraine and reinforce the security of NATO’s Eastern flank.

While in Brussels, Minister Anand joined Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Latvia, Dr. Pabriks, and representatives of other troop-contributing nations, for an event to mark the fifth anniversary of NATO’s multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, which has been led by Canada since 2017. Minister Anand further highlighted Canada’s commitment to supporting NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe through Canada’s Operation REASSURANCE.

Canada remains steadfast in our commitment to NATO and working closely with Allies to enhance cooperation and build a more resilient Alliance. 

Quotes

“At this crucial time for Euro-Atlantic security, Canada’s commitment to the NATO Alliance continues to be unwavering. We have added troops and capabilities to NATO operations in Europe, and we are ready to help defend every inch of NATO territory. Additionally, in collaboration with our Allies and partners, we will continue to work around the clock to provide Ukraine with the comprehensive military aid that it needs to defend its sovereignty and security.”

- The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Current Canadian contributions to NATO include:

    • 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 two Halifax-class frigates to NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Groups;
    • 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.
  • There are approximately 1,400 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, currently making it Canada’s largest international military operation.

  • The Canadian component of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia comprises a mechanised infantry company, an artillery battery, a combat support company and a combat service support company.

  • An additional 3,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel across all branches of the service have already been placed at higher state of readiness to deploy should these forces be required by NATO.

  • The June 15, 2022, announcement that Canada will provide replacement barrels for M777 Howitzer sustainment, expands on the military aid Canada has pledged to Ukraine since February 2022. The approximate $9 million purchase of immediately available replacement barrels will ensure the M777 Howitzers maintain their distance range and accuracy.

  • Since February 2022, the Government of Canada has confirmed $274 million in military equipment donations and purchases for Ukraine. 

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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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