Minister Blair announces new military donations for Ukraine at the 16th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group
October 11, 2023 – Brussels, Belgium – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, participated in the 16th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The meeting brought together representatives from approximately 50 countries, who reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Ukraine and discussed comprehensive military aid to address Ukraine’s immediate defence needs and longer-term priorities.
At the meeting, Minister Blair announced that Canada will donate $25 million worth of winter clothing and equipment to Ukraine. This includes boots, thermal layers, and winter sleeping bags. This also includes patterned military uniforms for 2000 female Armed Forces of Ukraine soldiers, which will be manufactured in Canada. This donation is funded by the $500 million tranche in funding for military assistance to Ukraine announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in June 2023.
Minister Blair also announced that Canada will also provide the following new package of donations from Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) inventory:
- 2,000 additional rounds of 155mm ammunition;
- Smoke ammunition, including 955 rounds of 155mm artillery smoke and over 2,000 rounds of 81mm mortar smoke;
- 2,260 gas masks;
- 277 1,000-pound aircraft bombs and associated fuse assemblies; and
- Various types of 76mm naval ammunition.
The Minister also noted that the previously announced donations of almost 8,000 rounds of 155mm ammunition, 10,000 rounds of 105mm artillery rounds, and approximately 2 million rounds of 7.62mm small arms ammunition were delivered last week.
Canada will continue to support Ukraine as it fights to defend its freedom and sovereignty in the face of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war.
“Ukrainians are fighting valiantly on the frontlines against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war. Today’s package of comprehensive military aid will ensure that Ukraine has what it needs to continue its battle for freedom, territorial integrity, and democracy. To our Ukrainian friends –– Canada’s support is unwavering.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence
The UDCG was created by the United States Secretary of Defense in April 2022 to allow Allies and partners to synchronize donations, consult, and coordinate military assistance to Ukraine, and build the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). Convening monthly at the ministerial level, the UDCG now brings together more than 50 countries.
Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. This includes eight Leopard 2 main battle tanks, one armoured recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more. Canada will also contribute to multinational efforts to train pilots and maintain and support Ukraine’s F-16s.
Canada previously committed $33 million to the United Kingdom-led partnership that is delivering high priority air defence equipment to Ukraine and $30 million for the Leopard 2 Maintenance and Service Centre in Poland as part of the $500 million in funding for military assistance to Ukraine announced by the Prime Minister in June 2023.
Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada has trained more than 38,000 AFU members since 2015. Canada will extend this mission until March 2026, providing significant capacity for the CAF to respond to Ukraine’s urgent training needs.
Canada continues to train AFU members under Operation UNIFIER, with more than 300 CAF members deployed in various roles such as the provision and coordination of training, national command support, and the facilitation and delivery of military donations to Ukraine in coordination with Allies.
Since late March 2022, the CAF has been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over 12 million pounds of military donations to date.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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