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Canada is sending lethal aid to Ukraine amid Russian invasion threat: Trudeau

Click to play video: 'Canada to offer $500M loan and $7.8M worth of weapons, ammunition to Ukraine: Trudeau' Canada to offer $500M loan and $7.8M worth of weapons, ammunition to Ukraine: Trudeau
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the situation in Ukraine on Monday, stating that Canada would offer a loan of up to $500 million to that country amid growing fears of a Russian invasion. Trudeau also said he’s approved the provision of $7.8 million worth of weapons and ammunition – Feb 14, 2022

Canada is sending $7.8 million worth of lethal equipment and ammunition to Ukraine as Russia continues to escalate tension in the region, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

On top of that, Canada will be sending Ukraine a $500 million loan — in addition to the $120 million the government previously promised.

“The intent of this support from Canada and other partners is to deter further Russian aggression,” Trudeau said, speaking during a press conference on Monday.

“We’re not seeking confrontation with Russia. But the situation is intensifying rapidly, and we are showing our resolve.”

The decision marks an escalation for Canada, which had refused to send any lethal aid to Ukraine earlier this month. At the time, Canada had only sent Ukraine non-lethal aid – a decision that drew criticism, since the country had specifically requested lethal help.

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Russia has been building up its forces near Ukraine, with well over 100,000 troops lined along the border. Meanwhile, CBS reported on Monday that Russian troops are currently leaving their assembly points and moving into “attack positions” — the latest escalation in Russia’s ongoing aggression towards Ukraine.

“It’s important for Canadians and the world to know that Canada will continue supporting Ukraine and its independence, integrity, sovereignty,” Trudeau said, ‘including its right to defend itself.”

Click to play video: 'Russia could invade Ukraine with ‘little to no warning:’ Pentagon' Russia could invade Ukraine with ‘little to no warning:’ Pentagon
Russia could invade Ukraine with ‘little to no warning:’ Pentagon – Feb 14, 2022

As tensions have continued to escalate, countries have been urging their citizens to return home.

The U.K. government warned its citizens in Ukraine to “leave now.” Canada has issued a similar warning to its citizens, telling them to “avoid all travel to Ukraine” due to the ongoing threats from Russia.

“If you are in Ukraine, you should leave while commercial means are available,” Canada’s advisory adds.

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The U.S. government has given similar directives to its own citizens, as well.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, asked state officials, politicians, and business leaders who have recently left the country to return within 24 hours. The goal, he said, is to show solidarity amid fears of an impending Russian invasion.

“It is your direct duty in such a situation to be with us, with the Ukrainian people. I suggest that you return to your homeland within 24 hours and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian army, our diplomats, and our people,” Zelenskiy said in the video address.

Meanwhile, he says his country stands ready to respond to whatever “aggressive actions” Russia may take.

“We clearly know where exactly the enemy’s army is located next to our borders, number of troops, locations, equipment and plans,” Zelensky said.

Read more: Ukraine president plays down U.S. warnings of imminent Russian invasion

Trudeau, meanwhile, has said it’s apparent Russia is “looking actively for excuses” to act against Ukraine.

“Russia must de-escalate,” Trudeau said, speaking to reporters on Friday.

“This is an evolving situation, but the bottom line is this: we’re not seeking confrontation with Russia, but we’re resolved to stand firm with the Ukrainian people’s right to determine their own future.”

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– With files from Reuters

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