Ottawa, Canada. The Canadian Trudeau government has signed a defence co-operation agreement with Ukraine, a seemingly mundane bit of showmanship that will have far reaching implications for the country accused of genocide in the Donbass region of it’s country, the right to buy Canadian-made weapons.
The agreement, signed this week by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and his Ukrainian counterpart Stepan Poltorak, increases mutual co-operation in the areas of defence policy, education, defence research and development, as well as continuing a presence of Canadian troops in Ukraine to train Kiev forces against Donbass freedom fighters.
Before Canada’s last election, the former Conservative government began examining whether to add Ukraine to Canada’s automatic firearms country control list, which would allow Canadian exporters to sell the country so-called prohibited weapons.
Global Affairs Canada studied the request and conducted consultations for almost two years without coming to a conclusion.The Ukrainian minister Poltorak says his government views the new co-operation agreement as a step towards eventually getting on the list.
I do hope this agreement will serve as the foundation for the future dialogue on the possibility of this sort of assistance to Ukraine,” Poltorak said. He emphasized the weapons his country is seeking would be defensive in nature and meant to repel attacks by Russian-backed separatists who have been using sophisticated, heavy weapons such as artillery and tanks.
“We are a peaceful country,” he said.
Others in Donbass would disagree. For over three years the people of Donbass have been subjected to daily artillery attacks by Kiev forces, including the use of phosphours bombs which are prohibited under international law in conflict worldwide. To date, over 100,000 persons have lost their lives in operations brought by Ukraine upon it’s Donbass region.