Minister Joly travels to Ukraine to discuss ongoing and unwavering Canadian support for Ukraine

News release

February 16, 2023 - Kyiv, Ukraine - Global Affairs Canada

As the one-year mark of President Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine approaches, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, travelled to Ukraine to reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support for the people of Ukraine and to discuss Canada’s role in the path toward peace with Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko, and the President’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak.

With each, Minister Joly discussed the ways in which Canada can best support Ukraine to ensure it is in a position of strength in pursuing peace and is able to rebuild according to its vision for the future, while the perpetrators of the war’s horrific violence are held to account for their crimes.

President Zelenskyy thanked Canada for recent donations of military equipment, including Leopard 2 battle tanks and a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, and Minister Joly assured him that Canada will continue to help Ukrainians defend their freedom for as long as it takes to reach a just peace.

Minister Joly also met with Olena Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine, to discuss the impact of Russia’s illegal invasion on the women and children of Ukraine. They discussed the need to increase capacity within Ukraine to respond to cases of conflict-related sexual violence, to support survivors and to pursue accountability through Ukrainian and international courts for these heinous crimes.

Minister Joly met with the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, to discuss the vast needs for reconstruction and Minister Joly affirmed that Canada will be there to help Ukrainians rebuild to realize their vision for the future. This will include continued Canadian contributions to help demine the streets, playgrounds and fields of Ukraine. She then visited the HALO Trust Fund to see Canadian support in action, as they work to train Ukrainian deminers and raise awareness in communities about how to avoid mines and other unexploded ordinances.

In meeting with Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Minister Joly discussed Canada’s unwavering pursuit of accountability for the crimes inflicted on the Ukrainian people, including the crime of aggression. She encouraged the ongoing work of the Core Group, of which Canada is a member. The Core Group is examining the idea of establishing a special tribunal on the crimes of aggression and finding the most effective means to hold Russia to account.

Minister Joly met with a range of civil society organizations to discuss their work on the ground in Ukraine, the need to include their voices in conversations around reconstruction and how Canada can help maximize their impact. She also met with business leaders in Kyiv, to hear their perspectives on the challenges they face today and how they view their role in rebuilding Ukraine after the war.

In discussions about improving the response to conflict-related sexual violence, pursuing accountability through Ukrainian and international institutions and effectively demining Ukraine, Minister Joly announced the allocation of $21.2 million to support organizations working on the ground to carry out this important work. 


“Ukraine and Canada are more than friends, we are family. On this third visit to the country, we have borne witness not only to the devastation caused by President Putin’s callous attacks on civilian infrastructure but also to the unrelenting strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people. Canada will continue to support them on the path toward peace and pursue accountability for the horrific crimes being committed across Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Approximately $18.2 million of the funding allocations announced by Minister Joly are being partly or fully funded through funding envelopes announced by the Prime Minister in June 2022.

  • Since Russia’s unjustifiable and illegal invasion, Canada has committed over $5 billion in multifaceted support to Ukraine, including over $2.6 billion in assistance, over $1.2 billion in military aid, $320 million in humanitarian aid, an additional $96 million in development assistance, and over $68 million in security and stabilization programming.

  • Since Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 2,200 individuals and entities. Many of these sanctions have been undertaken in coordination with Canada’s allies and partners.

  • Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,600 additional individuals and entities from and in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

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Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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