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Saskatchewan premier meets with Ukrainian refugees during trade mission

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had the chance to meet with Ukrainian families at a shelter during a trade mission in Europe.

Moe told reporters during a teleconference he and ambassador Stéphane Dion visited the shelter which had been retrofitted from an office building.

“(It was) a rewarding mission where we had the opportunity to engage directly with some folks that have been on the front lines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to have conversations with them about what it was like finding their way out of Ukraine,” Moe said.

Read more: Sask. Premier Scott Moe may meet with Ukrainian refugees in Germany during trade mission

Moe said the refugees told him how grateful they were for the generosity of the Polish and German people, as well as for Canadians and the support they have provided Ukraine.

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He added refugees also showed “determination” and “resilience”.

“I heard a number of times that this is going to be a long war because the Ukrainian people, quite simply, are not going to give up their home,” Moe said.

“A victory for Vladimir Putin is not going to be easy given the resilience and determination of the individuals that I had the opportunity to meet with.”

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Moe also noted that there was a “real belief” that the war was not the “will of the Russian people.”

The provincial government will be looking at how they can assist the federal government  in providing immigration resources in bringing refugees to Canada, Moe said.

Moe travelled overseas this week as part of a trade mission to promote potash, uranium and agri-food products to government and industry professionals, and to open a new Saskatchewan trade office.

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Moe was in London at the beginning of the week before heading to Frankfurt and Kassel in Germany.

Moe said he promoted Saskatchewan products to financial institutions and government officials.

He added taxpayers will get their value out of the trip, promising he was able to sell Saskatchewan as a more trustworthy trading partner than countries like Belarus or Russia.

Read more: Potash, oil drive revenue growth in Saskatchewan

“They very much now are asking themselves, ‘Where are we purchasing these products from and why are we purchasing from them, and are they a trusted and stable trading partner that will be there for us year after year?’”

Moe said countries will also be looking at the environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies when it comes to purchasing products.

“Most certainly when you look at the impact on the soil, water and ultimately the climate of Saskatchewan potash relative to that is (which) produced in Russia or Belarus — it ranks far, far higher on the sustainability front,” Moe said.

— with a file from The Canadian Press, and Connor O’Donovan

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