July 19, 2024
Canada is not ready to send military instructors back onto Ukrainian soil to help that country defend against Russia’s ongoing invasion, Defence Minister Bill Blair said Monday.

Canada is not ready to send military instructors to Ukraine, Bill Blair says

OTTAWA — Canada is not ready to send military instructors back onto Ukrainian soil to help that country defend against Russia’s ongoing invasion, Defence Minister Bill Blair said Monday.

It was the clearest indication yet that Ottawa is not willing — at this point — to join France’s push to deploy Western personnel to train Ukrainian soldiers inside the war-torn country.

“The circumstances are not right to deploy, in my view, the Canadian trainers in Ukraine,” Blair said on Parliament Hill. “However, should the conditions change, we are open to that.”

The Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

In recent weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has touted an emerging plan to send Western military instructors into Ukraine. Lithuania’s foreign minister endorsed the idea in an interview last month with the Guardian, while the New York Times has reported that a top defence adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden thinks NATO trainers will eventually return to Ukraine.

Until Monday, the federal government had not been clear about whether it would join the French initiative. Blair has previously said Canada — which trained Ukrainians in their country until the Russian invasion in February 2022 — is willing to send military personnel, so long as they are in noncombat roles far from the front lines of the conflict.

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BTDT
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BTDT
June 19, 2024 7:54 am

Canada is not ready to send military instructors to Ukraine, but we’re ready and in fact did just send an ‘Arctic’ patrol vessel to the Caribbean. Maybe it was just a navigation error. Fingers crossed.