Ukraine President Zelenskiy asks Trudeau for support in path towards NATO membership

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone call on Tuesday to support Kyiv’s aspirations to join the NATO military alliance, the president’s office said.

Zelenskiy earlier urged NATO to lay out a path for Ukraine to join, after days in which Russia has massed troops near the conflict-hit Donbass region.

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“As a special partner of Ukraine, Canada could take the lead among allies who support a MAP (Membership Action Plan) solution for Ukraine. Canada‘s support will be an important signal of support from true friends,” Zelenskiy said, according to a statement.

Canada is home to a large Ukrainian diaspora.

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Trudeau later said he and Zelenskiy had discussed shared concerns about what he described as recent Russian military activity and ongoing aggression.

“I reaffirmed Canada‘s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory integrity, as well as our commitment to further deepening our longstanding friendship with Ukraine,” he told a briefing.

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