As Russia has retreated from western Ukraine, Canada is “actively looking” at options to reopen its embassy in its capital, Kyiv, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement to Global News.
“Ensuring the safety of our staff is a top priority and we need to make sure the security situation on the ground allows for it,” Joly said.
“Opening our embassy is both a symbolic gesture to communicate our strong and continued support for Ukraine, as well as a means to continue to offer services for Canadians.”
The comments come after the U.S. announced Monday it would be reopening its embassy in Kyiv soon. The announcement was made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to the country’s capital along with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Russia has withdrawn from the areas around Kyiv after fierce opposition from Ukraine, to focus its effort on the country’s eastern regions.
Blinken and Austin praised Ukraine’s war efforts that have made it safe for them to visit, and also announced that the U.S. would send the country more military aid.
Canada suspended embassy operations in Kyiv in mid-February, before Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. At the time, Joly said operations would resume as soon as the security situation allowed it.
Defence minister visiting Germany, U.S.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Anita Anand will be visiting Germany and the U.S. this week to discuss support for Ukraine, the government said in a statement Monday.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and Deputy Minister of National Defence Bill Matthews will join Anand in Germany on Monday. All will attend the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group hosted by Austin on Tuesday at the Ramstein Air Base.
The Canadian delegation will visit Washington later in the week to meet with U.S. defence officials at the Pentagon.
— with files from Reuters and Aya Al-Hakim