Canadian diplomat makes Ukraine trip as Russia threat mounts

Canada’s top diplomat will travel to Ukraine Sunday for an emergency visit to help fend off Russian aggression as tensions mount in the region.

“The amassing of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine jeopardizes security in the entire region,” said Foreign Minister Melanie Joly. “These aggressive actions must be deterred.”

The week-long trip, announced Saturday, is meant to “reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Joly’s itinerary includes a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kiev and a visit with 200 members of the Canadian military stationed in Ukraine to train its security forces.

The Kremlin has massed 100,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border in recent months — a buildup that, the US and its NATO allies fear, could mean an imminent invasion.

Joly’s visit will include a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

American and Russian negotiators in Geneva hit a stalemate this week in talks meant to defuse the military tension.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna may also be included in Joly's visit.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna may also be included in Joly’s visit.
EPA

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday that Russia was “laying the groundwork” for a Ukraine invasion — using the same “playbook” as in its 2014 annexation of Crimea.