Minister Blair meets with Germany’s Minister of Defence and announces a $76 million contribution to Germany’s Immediate Action on Air Defence initiative

News release

May 10, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, welcomed Germany’s Minister of Defence, Boris Pistorius, to Ottawa. The Ministers held a productive bilateral meeting, during which they discussed Canada’s recently-released defence policy update, Our North, Strong and Free and Canada-Germany defence relations. The Ministers also discussed our mutual efforts to support Ukraine and our work to strengthen NATO’s defence and deterrence posture, including in the Baltic states, where both Canada and Germany lead multinational NATO battle groups.

Minister Blair today announced that Canada will contribute $76 million to Germany’s Immediate Action on Air Defence (IAAD) initiative in support of Ukraine. This initiative, launched by Germany in April 2024, pools money and resources from the international community to quickly source and deliver air defence systems for Ukraine. These systems will help defend against Russian aerial attacks that have killed thousands of Ukrainians and destroyed hospitals, power plants and apartment blocks.

Ministers Blair and Pistorius highlighted the work Canada and Germany are doing to support the NATO Alliance, including leading NATO battle groups in Latvia and Lithuania, and strengthening NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Eastern Europe. Both countries are working toward building their battle groups up to full Brigade size.

The Ministers further discussed joint priorities in the lead-up to this summer’s NATO Summit in Washington D.C. and reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to continue providing vital military support to Ukraine in the immediate and longer term.

Canada’s contribution to the German IAAD initiative is just one way that Canada and Germany are working together to support Ukraine. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are currently deployed to Germany as part of the Security Assistance Group – Ukraine, which is helping to facilitate the transfer of aid to Ukraine, working to align future donations with Ukraine’s needs, and planning for the immediate and longer-term training needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Canada and Germany share a strong and cooperative defence relationship and we will continue to deepen our ties as we work to uphold peace, stability, and the rules-based international order.


“Canada and Germany are close NATO Allies, united through our close defence relationship and our commitment to supporting Ukraine. Through Canada’s investment in Germany’s Immediate Action on Air Defence Initiative, we are working together to provide Ukraine with the crucial air defence systems that it needs to protect its people. I thank Minister Pistorius for his strong cooperation, and I thank the German people for their hospitality to Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to the country.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Canada and Germany are like-minded global partners with a shared commitment to bolstering multilateralism and the rules-based international order. As long-standing NATO Allies, we cooperate closely on security and defence issues, and are also both members of the G7 and G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization.

  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $14 billion in total support to Ukraine, including $4 billion in military assistance. This includes Leopard 2 main battle tanks, armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, M777 howitzers, artillery ammunition, drones, and more. Canada is also contributing to multinational efforts to train pilots and maintain and support Ukraine’s F-16s.

  • Since March 2022, the Royal Canadian Air Force has been assisting with the delivery of military aid to Ukraine, donated by Canada, Allies, and partners. The RCAF has transported over 16 million pounds of Ukraine-bound military aid to date.

  • Canada is more than doubling its military presence in Latvia. By this summer, there will be 1,500 persistently deployed CAF members in Latvia, with the full implementation of up to 2,200 members in a Brigade capacity by 2026.

  • On April 8, 2024, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Bill Blair released Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence. This defence policy update prioritizes Arctic and northern security and will invest $8.1 billion over five years and $73 billion over 20 years to bolster the defence of Canada.

  • With this investment, Canada projects its defence spending to GDP ratio to reach 1.76% in 2029-30. This is a significant step forward towards meeting our commitment to reach defence expenditures of 2% of gross domestic product.

  • Initiatives under Our North, Strong and Free also put Canada on track to exceed NATO's target of 20% for major equipment expenditures as a proportion of defence funding in 2025-2026.

Associated links


Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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