Foreign minister says Canada-Ukraine security assurance deal could be reached in weeks

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says Canada and Ukraine are in the final push when it comes to reaching an agreement on security “assurances” for the embattled country.

Speaking from Ukraine in an interview airing Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live, Joly said the agreement would be a landmark moment for Ukraine; similar pacts are expected to be forged with other G7 countries.

Canada has already sent a draft proposal for the assurances to Kyiv, and Joly said she was in Ukraine to help finalize an agreement. Last year, the G7 promised agreements that would include promises of military support and training for Ukraine. The details of the Canadian proposal are not yet clear.

“I’m here to push to get it to the finish line, I think we can conclude it in the coming weeks,” she told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

WATCH | Joly discusses Canadian talks with Ukraine: 

Canada aiding efforts to find Ukrainian children who were forcibly deported, says Joly

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly made a surprise trip to Ukraine on Friday. CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton spoke to Joly about Ottawa’s initiative to reunite families there, as well as escalating tensions throughout the Middle East.

Joly was in Ukraine to meet key officials and tour some of the areas devastated by Russian attacks. The war is approaching the end of its second year of full-scale conflict. Significant portions of the country’s south and east remain under Russian occupation, with the battlefront largely stable relative to the first phases of the war.

Ukraine continues to push for more international support in the form of funding and weaponry, as well as long-term security pledges and eventual entrance into NATO. U.S. President Joe Biden has said Ukraine’s entrance into NATO will have to wait until the current conflict has ended.

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“We know that even one day when the war ends, and until Ukraine is in NATO, we need to make sure that Ukraine is strong and has enough of a security and a deterrence force to make sure that it is able to deter Russia from rearming and re-invading,” Joly said. “Because we know that Russia will still be a very dangerous.”

Russia argues that security deals with Ukraine further increase tensions and destabilize Europe.

Canada’s language around the issue continues to highlight “assurances,” rather than “guarantees” 

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