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11:00 AM, November 23, 2017
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Ukraine Seeks Defensive Weapons from Canada
Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's minister for foreign affairs speaks at the 2017 Halifax International Security Forum (Image: SpaceNews)

Ukraine has sought defensive weapons from Canada similar to the $47 million US aid package approved by the US National Security Council.

"The answer is definitely yes. It's the same approach towards the US," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin was quoted as saying by The Globe and Mail at the Halifax International Security Forum last weekend.

Klimkin says he believes there are more than 2,000 pieces of Russian hardware in eastern Ukraine, including armored vehicles, tanks and howitzer guns. "We need more defense equipment from our friends and partners," he said. "Any modern army should be capable of fighting the Russians."

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, wrapping up the government-sponsored conference on security and defence topics in Halifax, did not directly answer a question on whether the Liberal government would provide such weapons to Ukraine.

Sajjan noted that Canada and Ukraine signed a defence co-operation agreement this past April and Ottawa has committed to add Ukraine to the country's Automatic Firearms Country Control List – measures that could open the door to Canadian companies selling weapons to Kiev.

He made no commitments to provide weapons, but said that Canada needs to first ensure the Ukrainians are trained and capable of using any assistance provided, including non-lethal aid from telecommunications equipment to a field hospital.

"The National Security Council decided during a meeting on Tuesday to greenlight the presentation of a $47 million grant package to the Ukrainian government to purchase American defense arms, including the powerful Javelin anti-tank missiles to deter Russia's aggression," according to ABC news report Friday.

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