Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Surprise visit by Mélanie Joly to Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.

The Canadian Press

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly arrived in Ukraine on Friday morning for a two-day visit, during which she is expected to announce a joint initiative to pressure Russia to bring back thousands of x27;Ukrainian children kidnapped by Russia, in violation of international law.

Ms. Joly must, among other things, meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. His ministry, however, gave no indication that additional funding would be provided to kyiv. Canada has already pledged $9.7 billion to Ukraine to help with its war and reconstruction efforts.

Nearly a year ago, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, suspected of having forced children of the #x27;eastern Ukraine to be adopted by Russian families, while attempting to strip them of any Ukrainian identity.

The new Canadian project aims to raise public awareness of this issue and coordinate awareness campaigns.

Ottawa says it will also offer all the technical expertise Ukraine needs to help return the children, fewer than 400 of whom have so far returned from Russia.

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During her trip, Joly also plans to meet with war-affected Ukrainians, including children, as well as organizations that support victims of sexual and gender-based violence and related trauma to war.

Canada and its allies are committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary, including to contain the risk of violence. Russian aggression after the conflict's eventual end.

Yet public support for Ukraine has declined in countries like the United States , in a context of persistent inflation and war in the Middle East.

Canada has still not signed a Formal bilateral security engagement for Ukraine. Negotiations have been ongoing for months over how much Ottawa will commit to help secure the country.

The month Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of Russia's invasion of Crimea, and two years since Moscow began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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