Ukraine, Canada leaders discuss ‘long-term defense cooperation’

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday discussed long-term defense cooperation, the two leaders said.

“For as long as it takes. That’s how long we’re going to provide Ukraine with support,” Trudeau tweeted, following a phone call with Zelenskyy.

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“You have my word,” he told the Ukraine leader. “Canada will continue to be there with military, humanitarian, and financial aid.”

Zelensky, also in a tweet, said they had discussed “the program of long-term defense cooperation.”

Last month Canada sent eight Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to help the war-torn country fend off Russia’s invasion.

Ottawa had announced in February it would double the number of tanks pledged to Kyiv the month before. The German-made 55,000-kilogram beasts are the backbone of and among the most advanced in the Canadian military’s arsenal.

Canada has also extended its mission to train Ukrainian combat engineers to October and is also deploying medical trainers, Trudeau said in March.

Ottawa has committed more than Can$1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine over the past year, including armored vehicles, surface-to-air missiles, howitzers and munitions as well as the Leopard 2 tanks.

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