Ministers Freeland and Sajjan mark Ukraine’s Independence Day


August 24, 2017 - Ottawa - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement on Ukraine’s Independence Day:

“On this day, over a quarter of a century ago, Ukraine officially declared itself a sovereign nation. Canada is proud to have been the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence, in December 1991.

“Canada and Ukraine have a strong and enduring relationship, built on a foundation of deep historical and people-to-people ties. Today, our two countries share a multi-faceted partnership encompassing cooperation across political, economic, commercial, development, security and defence spheres.

“Canada remains committed to the continued strengthening of its partnership with Ukraine over the long term, including through the opportunities that will be generated by the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on August 1, 2017.

“Canada and Ukraine continue to work together on military training and defence matters. Through Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces have delivered more than 100 courses to thousands of Ukrainian soldiers. The recent signing of the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement further opens the door for increased cooperation on defence-related issues between our two countries.

“This year, for the first time, a contingent of approximately 30 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed with Operation UNIFIER, including a flag party, marched in the Ukrainian Independence Day parade. They were joined by Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“We also take the opportunity on this occasion to reiterate Canada’s unequivocal support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the sanctity of its borders and the rights of its people. Canada will remain a steadfast ally and friend as Ukraine works to ensure its greater security, prosperity and economic independence.

“As we mark Ukraine’s Independence Day, we join the people of Ukraine and Canadians of Ukrainian descent—who have contributed significantly to shaping Canada and its identity as a diverse and inclusive society—in celebrating the country’s history, traditions and culture.”

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