Statement on Ukraine’s Independence Day


August 24, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development; the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship today issued the following statement:

“Today, Canada extends its best wishes to the people of Ukraine and to those in Ukrainian communities worldwide on the 32nd anniversary of their country’s independence.

“Ukraine bravely continues to defend its sovereignty and independence. The daily acts of courage of the Ukrainian people and the Armed Forces of Ukraine have inspired people around the world, including Canadians, whose support for Ukraine’s freedom remains unwavering. In 1991, Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence. We continue to recognize these same borders and we reject any attempts at annexing Ukrainian territory.

“We have been working in steadfast collaboration with G7, NATO and other international partners. Since 2022, Canada has committed over $8.9 billion in support for Ukraine. That includes more than $1.8 billion in military assistance, as well as financial, development, humanitarian, peace and stabilization assistance. Through Operation UNIFIER, Canada has trained over 37,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel. The mission, which began in 2015, has been extended to March 2026.

“Canada’s assistance to Ukraine is multifaceted. We support the International Atomic Energy Agency in its efforts to ensure the safety and security of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. We counter disinformation by publishing and promoting facts. We help to maintain Allied and partner unity in the face of Russian attempts to sow division. And we are working to hold Russia accountable under international law for crimes committed in Ukraine.

“Canada is also providing a temporary safe haven for Ukrainians fleeing the war. To date, we have welcomed over 170,000 Ukrainians to our communities. We appreciate the contributions they and Canada’s active Ukrainian community of over 1.3 million people have made, and continue to make, to our country.

“Alongside its G7 partners and those who endorsed the joint declaration of support for Ukraine at the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, Canada reaffirms its unwavering commitment to a free, independent, democratic and sovereign Ukraine, which occupies internationally recognized borders and is capable of defending itself and deterring future aggression.”

“Canada will continue to increase the costs to Russia for this unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression, and we are steadfast in our support for Ukraine’s defence, recovery and reconstruction. On this day of celebration—and always—Canada stands with Ukraine.”


Emily Williams
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Emily Heffernan
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development

Daniel Minden
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Bahoz Dara Aziz
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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