Canada announces support for elections and democracy in Ukraine

News release

December 6, 2018 - Milan, Italy - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is a steadfast partner of Ukraine. Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, announced that Canada will contribute up to $24 million to support electoral reforms, election observers, gender equality and inclusive governance in Ukraine.

Electoral observation missions are key contributors to strengthening democratic institutions. Canada will support Ukraine by committing a significant number of Canadian observers to support both a Canadian bilateral observation mission and, if called upon next year, an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) election observation mission. Canada’s support will focus on the greater democratic participation of civil society, the empowerment of women in the democratic process and combatting the spread of disinformation and interference.

Canada stands with Ukraine on its journey to implement reforms, including strengthening democratic institutions; promoting women’s political participation; building public confidence in electoral processes; and deterring fraud, intimidation and violence.


“Canada’s commitment to democracy and the sovereignty of Ukraine is unwavering. Today, at the OSCE meetings held in Milan, where support for Ukraine is a key concern, I am very pleased to announce this significant contribution in support of Ukraine’s democracy.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canada is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s current democratic reform, which will contribute to the country’s long-term stability, security and prosperity. Through this support, we are reinforcing the voices of women and youth, so they can become agents of change and help build a better Ukraine for everyone.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence on December 2, 1991.

  • Since January 2014, Canada has committed more than $750 million in multifaceted support to Ukraine, encompassing a broad range of financial, development, stabilization and security, non-lethal military and humanitarian assistance.

  • CANADEM will ensure that the electoral observation missions are gender balanced and well trained on gender equality issues, including political empowerment of women at federal and local levels.

  • In addition, Canada has deployed approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Ukraine as part of Operation UNIFIER through March 31, 2019. To date, they have trained over 10,000 Ukrainian armed forces personnel.

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Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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