Speaking to reporters in Dalhousie, N.B., Trudeau said he has been in close contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Canada is “very responsive” to what his country needs amid a Russian invasion that has dragged on for a second month.
“Their most recent request from Canada is to help them with heavy artillery because that’s what the phase of the war is in right now,” Trudeau said.
“And Canada will be sending heavy artillery to Ukraine with more details to come in the coming days,” he added.
Canada, along with other NATO allies, has promised and already sent Ukraine military aid in the form of lethal and non-lethal weapons to help Kyiv fight Russia.
Russian forces are regrouping in the east after failing to capture a single major Ukrainian city when it began a widespread invasion on Feb. 24.
“Ukrainians have fought like heroes over the past number of months, and they’re not just fighting for Ukraine, they’re fighting for the values that underpin so many of our free democratic societies, which is why the world needs to continue to step up,” said Trudeau.
As the war rages on, the humanitarian crisis is worsening, with more than 4.9 million Ukrainians having fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries, according to the U.N. human rights agency (UNHCR). Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, Ukrainian officials say.
Canada has stepped up humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, providing $245 million. Of that, $145 million has been allocated to United Nations organizations, the Red Cross Movement, and to non-governmental organizations.
Last week, the federal government announced it was sending 150 military personnel to assist Polish authorities with processing and resettling millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion.
In response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, Ottawa has also hit Moscow with a slew of sanctions, with the latest round targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s two adult daughters and 12 other close associates.
“This Russian regime and its associates need to continue to be held accountable for their actions,” said Trudeau on Tuesday.
“We will continue to stand with Ukraine and stand for the values that underpin all of our free societies.”
Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Canada has placed more than 750 sanctions on individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, according to Global Affairs Canada. The sanctions aim to freeze and prohibit assets.
— with files from The Canadian Press