“It is important for our soldiers to be better equipped,” said Mélanie Joly

(Toronto) The Canadian Armed Forces must be better prepared for new challenges in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Friday.

Updated March 18

Maan Alhmidi
Canadian Press

In his address at the Munk School of International Affairs at the University of Toronto, Mr.I Joly pointed to the changing stakes on the world stage after Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to start a war against Ukraine.

“It is important for our army to be better equipped. This is important because the world has changed. And we must be able to face new challenges,” he said.

“We see what Germany has done, increasing its military and defense budget. And in that regard, I think we have to work with the armed forces to make sure we are prepared,” he added.

MI Joly added that NATO and Canada are ready to face Russia’s new aggression.

“NATO ensures we strengthen the east wing,” he said. Canada is taking the lead in ensuring that we will provide more troops and that is clearly a top priority for the government. »

Treasury Secretary Chrystia Freeland has hinted that more money may flow to the military in the next federal budget.

Among NATO allies, the goal is to make defense spending equal to 2% of the size of the national economy. The latest figures from the alliance put Canada’s defense spending at 1.39% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2021.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unified the West like never before and strengthened NATO, Canada’s foreign minister said.

MI Joly says “there’s nothing like having one villain” to join the fight.

” President [Vladimir] Putin has tried to divide the West and exploit our differences, but we are more united than ever,” he argued.

Canada is working with G7 and NATO allies to send military equipment to Ukraine, Ms.I Beautiful.

“Important for […] the Ukrainian side to be able to defend itself and stop bombing civilians, but this also has an impact on the diplomatic level, because this is a way for Ukraine to be stronger at the negotiating table,” he said.

MI Joly stressed that the government is ready to take in unlimited numbers of Ukrainian refugees and that officials are considering the possibility of air bridges from neighboring European countries to take them to Canada.

Canada is also helping Eastern European countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, including Moldova, Romania and Poland, by funding UN agencies helping refugees, Ms.I Beautiful.

“We have provided 200 million humanitarian aid. We work with the UN and its various agencies, including UNHCR, he said. Special attention and support should be given to Moldova, as it is one of the poorest countries in Europe. »

More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion began 23 days ago.

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