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The gift of a system of ;Defense of Ukraine by Canada is not finalized | War in Ukraine

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The NASAMS air defense system was designed jointly by the United States and Norway. (File photo)

The Canadian Press

The Department of National Defense says Canada's donation of an air defense system to Ukraine is in its final administrative stages with the US government.

A ministry spokesperson says Ukraine and the United States are working out the final details of the acceptance letter. This sets out the delivery deadlines for the surface-to-air missile system that Canada committed to paying for more than a year ago.

Ukraine has repeatedly requested air defense systems from its allies to repel Russian airstrikes and cruise missiles.

It took more than a week to get a response from the Department of Defense, which was trying to obtain information from the U.S. government.

The ministry spokesperson also said that Defense Minister Bill Blair met with US Ambassador David Cohen on Thursday to ask him to speed up the process.

War in Ukraine

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A manufacturing facility for the NASAMS surface-to-air missile defense system in Kongsberg, Norway. (File photo)

Canada announced plans to donate a surface-to-air missile defense system, known as named NASAMS, in January 2023. Canada paid US$406 million (C$544 million) for the NASAMS system last March.

The United States directly entered into a foreign military sales agreement with Ukraine and notified Congress in May. This process continued throughout the summer and fall last year.

Such an arrangement allows Canada to avoid seeking additional approval from the U.S. government to send this system to Ukraine, which is necessary whenever U.S. military technology is sold outside the country.< /p>

The United States and Ukraine are currently working to finalize the acceptance letter, which describes the donation and expectations for its use and confirms delivery deadlines. The acceptance letter is the last administrative step of the process.

A quote from Alexandre Tétreault, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stepped up pressure on his allies to provide more air support to Ukraine.

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Visiting Canada in September 2023, Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Canada for its unwavering support, emphasizing that the country is one of the main donors of Ukraine. (File photo)

In a January 4 message on the X platform, he said: Our entire diplomatic team, all those responsible for communicating with partners and all Ukrainian representatives around the world are fully committed to ensuring the delivery of additional air defense systems and munitions.

Ukraine says medium-range missile systems are essential to defending its territory against Russian bombing. These weapons are capable of shooting down planes, drones and cruise missiles.

This followed a message he had published after a conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the occasion of the New Year.

President Zelensky also published on January 1 a message after a conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I am grateful to Prime Minister Trudeau for his willingness to help us protect Ukraine's skies, including by providing additional NASAMS systems and missiles, Mr. Zelensky wrote.

It is not clear whether Mr. Zelensky was referring to the system that Canada agreed to pay for last year or whether the two men talked about a new donation. The Prime Minister's Office refused to answer questions on the matter.

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