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The Canadian Foreign Minister will visit Ukraine, vows to prevent Russian aggression




Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (out of the box) at the State Department in Washington, DC on November 12, 2021. Olivier Douliery / Pool via REUTERS

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OTAWA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly will visit Kiev next week to reaffirm support for Ukrainian sovereignty and step up efforts to thwart “aggressive action” by Russia, Ottawa said on Saturday.

Moscow has deployed more than 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, and the United States said Friday it feared Russia was preparing a pretext to invade if diplomacy failed to achieve its goals. Read more

Canada, with a significant and politically influential population of ethnic Ukrainian origin, has maintained a tough stance with Moscow since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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“The accumulation of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine endangers security throughout the region. These aggressive actions must be prevented,” Joly said in a statement.

“Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rule-based international order.”

Joly will meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal and travel to the west of the country to speak with a 200-member Canadian training mission that has been there since 2015.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday and “stressed that any military incursion into Ukraine would have serious consequences, including coordinated sanctions,” Trudeau’s office said.

Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 440 individuals and entities for annexing Crimea.

Joly, who kicks off a week-long trip to Europe on Sunday, will visit Brussels to see NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

She will also go to Paris for talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the statement said.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren; Edited by Sandra Maler

Our standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.




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