A brigade live-fire exercise takes place at Honcharivs’ke training area in Northern Ukraine during Operation UNIFIER on December 3, 2018. (Photo: Joint Task Force-Ukraine)

Canada extends its military training mission in Ukraine


Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019

OTTAWA - Canada is a leader in the international community’s support for the people of Ukraine.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced March 18 that the Government of Canada is extending Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces military training mission in Ukraine, until the end of March 2022. While Ukraine’s defence and security forces continue to make considerable progress, ongoing insecurity in the region underscores the importance and relevance of Canada’s military mission. 

“Today’s announcement reaffirms Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and our commitment to global security,” said Defence Minister Sajjan. “Canada’s commitment to Ukraine is unequivocal and unwavering. With the renewal of Operation UNIFIER, the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces are playing a key role in helping build, develop and modernize the capabilities of Ukraine’s defence and security forces.”

Through Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will continue to provide military training and capacity building assistance to Ukraine’s defence and security forces. The training provided by the CAF directly helps Ukraine’s defence and security forces to uphold domestic security and territorial integrity, contributing to regional and international stability.

Operation UNIFIER supports Ukraine’s broader reform agenda and contributes to current Canadian efforts that invest in democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine. “The people of Ukraine know they can count on Canada,” noted Minister Freeland. “Operation UNIFIER is an essential part of our multifaceted support to Ukraine. We are steadfast in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as it works toward a stable, democratic and prosperous future. That is why Canada is also proud to host the third annual Ukraine Reform Conference in July this year.”

Canada continues to provide a broad range of assistance (development, financial, humanitarian, non-lethal military) to Ukraine, totaling more than $750 million since January 2014.

Under Operation UNIFIER, Canada deploys approximately 200 CAF personnel to Ukraine.

Since the start of the training in September 2015, the CAF has trained more than 10,800 Ukrainian service members to be self-sufficient in their training delivery and in the conduct of military operations.

On March 15, 2019, Canada announced, in coordination with the European Union and the United States, new sanctions in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea and Kerch Strait, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.

From July 2 to 4, 2019, Canada will host the third Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto. The conference will bring together, among others, foreign ministers from the European Union, the G7 and NATO countries to support Ukraine and its people, in meeting their ambitious democratic and economic reform programme and Euro-Atlantic goals.