Canada to provide additional military aid to Ukraine sourced from Colt Canada

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on April 11 met Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, and announced that Canada will provide additional military aid to Ukraine sourced from Colt Canada. The new military assistance package includes 21,000 5.56mm assault rifles, 38 7.62mm machine guns, and over 2.4 million rounds of ammunition to support these weapons as well as small arms already in use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This donation comes from the remaining funds across the Government of Canada’s various funding envelopes for military assistance to Ukraine.
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 The Canadian army is still using the Colt C7 assault rifle until its replacement is selected. This weapon is now supplied to the Ukrainian army (Picture source: Canadian DoD)

Canadian Armed Forces members are supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the United Kingdom and Poland under Operation UNIFIER, providing training on a range of military skills. Between 2015 and 2023, Canada trained more than 36,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces as part of Operation UNIFIER. The Canadian Armed Forces already transported over 8 million pounds of donated military equipment since March 2022.

Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. Commitments to date include eight Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, one armored recovery vehicle, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armored combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, winter clothing, and more.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on March 8 that obtaining more ammunition was one of Ukraine's main needs ahead of the planned counteroffensive.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced Canada has disbursed a $2.4 billion loan to the Government of Ukraine to support essential services, such as pension payments, purchasing fuel, and restoring damaged energy infrastructure. This funding, announced in Budget 2023, brings Canada’s total commitment to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion to over $8 billion.

To maintain the pressure on the Russian regime, Prime Minister Trudeau announced new sanctions targeting 14 Russian individuals and 34 entities complicit in Russia’s war in Ukraine, including several security targets linked to the Wagner Group and Russia’s aviation sector. In addition, to further pressure Putin’s enablers in Belarus, the Prime Minister announced additional sanctions on nine entities related to the Belarusian financial sector.

During Prime Minister Shmyhal’s time in Canada, Saskatoon-based Cameco and Ukraine’s state-owned Energoatom signed a major supply contract in which Cameco will provide the necessary uranium to meet Ukraine’s nuclear fuel needs until 2035. This supply contract, which builds on the partnership agreement signed earlier this year, will help Ukraine keep the lights on, while creating and supporting good, middle-class jobs here in Canada.

Since Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 2,400 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Many of these sanctions have been undertaken in coordination with Canada’s allies and partners. Since January 2022, Canada has committed more than $8 billion in funding for financial, military, humanitarian, development, and immigration assistance to Ukraine. This funding includes:
• Over $5 billion in financial assistance;
• Over $1 billion in military support;
• $352.5 million in humanitarian assistance;
• $127 million in development assistance; and
• Over $102 million in security and stabilization assistance.

Defense News April 2023