Canadian foreign minister to visit Kyiv next week to deter ‘aggressive actions’ by Russia

The Canadian flag is seen at the U.S. Embassy in Washington, D.C., on June 18
Greg Nash

As tensions heighten within the international community over a possible invasion by Russia into Ukraine, Canada announced on Saturday that its foreign minister would be visiting Kyiv next week to deter Russia’s “aggressive actions.”

“The amassing of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes security in the entire region,” Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement. “These aggressive actions must be deterred. Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and preserve the human rights and dignity of Ukrainians.”

Joly, who leaves on Sunday, will meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna in addition to Canadian armed forces deployed in the country, a news release said. Joly will also visit Paris and Brussels to meet with her European counterparts and NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, among others.

The Canadian foreign minister will be making her multi-country trip to Europe to “reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the news release said.

Joly is expected to return on Jan. 22.

Officials from the U.S. and Canada spoke by phone on Thursday, according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

He said Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Canadian Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Morgan had “pledged continued close coordination to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine” and “called for Russian de-escalation and underscored their shared commitment to diplomacy.”

The trip by Joly comes as roughy 100,000 Russian troops remain stationed at the Ukrainian border, and the international community remains concerned that a Russian invasion into Ukraine is a strong possibility.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that there was a “high” threat of Russia invading Ukraine. 

“We’re prepared to continue with diplomacy to advance security and stability in the Euro Atlantic. We are equally prepared if Russia chooses a different path,” Sullivan said. 

Tags Canada Jake Sullivan Jake Sullivan Russia Ukraine

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