Ukraine PM to visit Canada seeking more arms for counteroffensive: Report

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal is planning to visit Canada to seek supplies of ammunition and armored vehicles for a counteroffensive against invading Russian forces, the Globe and Mail reported on Friday.

Shmyhal said in an interview with the Canadian newspaper that he was not concerned about the lack of new military aid allocated for Ukraine in Canada’s federal budget, and hoped the country would provide more aid among other forms of assistance.

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“Now, we need heavy armored vehicles. And we need more artillery shells: ammunition for howitzers and ammunition for tanks,” Shmyhal said. “It’s crucially important for the organization of our counteroffensive.”

Ukraine is expected to launch a counter-offensive to seize back land in the south and east of the country from Russian forces in the coming weeks or months.

Shmyhal will visit Canada in coming weeks, the Globe and Mail said, adding that for security reasons the Kyiv government was not divulging the date of the trip.

The Ukrainian premier was quoted by the Globe as saying Ukraine would also like Canada to offer war risk insurance to Canadian companies investing in Ukraine to support reconstruction and foreign investment.

“So if a Canadian company will decide to invest money into Ukraine, we will ask the Canadian government to create some mechanism to support Canadian investments,” he said.

Ukraine faces an unprecedented budget deficit this year due to ballooning military spending to fight off Russia’s invasion and it relies heavily on foreign financial aid.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has been one of Ukraine’s most vocal international supporters and provided Kyiv with over C$5 billion ($3.70 billion) in financial, military and other aid.

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