Advertisement

Canada extends Ukraine mission to 2019

Click to play video: 'Canada mission in Ukraine focused on training armed forces' Canada mission in Ukraine focused on training armed forces
Canada has extended its training mission in Ukraine until 2019, which originally saw about 200 troops deployed in 2015 to help train the country's forces following the annexation of Crimea by Russia – Mar 6, 2017

OTTAWA – The Liberal government is extending Canada’s military mission in Ukraine for another two years as it attempts to send a signal of continued solidarity with the eastern European country.

Canada first deployed about 200 troops to Ukraine in the summer of 2015 to help train government forces after Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting separatist forces in Ukraine’s Donbass region.

READ MORE: Edmonton soldiers leave for 6-month mission to train Ukrainian troops

The mission, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured during a visit to the country in July, had been set to expire at the end of March.

WATCH: Canadian soldiers help train their Ukrainian counterparts as mission in Ukraine is extended

Click to play video: 'Canadian soldiers help train their Ukrainian counterparts as mission in Ukraine is extended' Canadian soldiers help train their Ukrainian counterparts as mission in Ukraine is extended
Canadian soldiers help train their Ukrainian counterparts as mission in Ukraine is extended – Mar 13, 2017

But Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland say Canadian troops will now remain in Ukraine until at least March 2019.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Ukraine takes Russia to UN court for ‘supporting’ terrorism

The decision is sure to be warmly welcomed by the Ukrainian government, which had publicly appealed for such an extension, as well as Canada’s large Ukrainian community.

National Defence says 3,200 Ukrainian troops have been trained by the Canadians in the basics of soldiering since the mission began.

Sponsored content