Canada offered a loan up to CAN$120 million (US$95 million) to Ukraine to counter Russian attempts to “destabilize” the country’s economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday.
“Russia is aiming to destabilize Ukraine, including economically. This loan will help support Ukraine’s economic resilience,” Trudeau said. “We’re also exploring other options to provide financial and other supports.”
One of those supports is the offer of a grant of up to US$4.8 million for technical assistance, the prime minister said at a press conference in Ottawa.
Canada may also extend its military training for Ukrainian forces, ante up “defensive weapons and equipment and slap “severe” sanctions on Russia, he said.
“We are of course looking to do more, and we will have more to say as the situation unfolds,” Trudeau said.
The Canadian announcements come as tension between Ukraine and Russia soar. And it comes a few hours after US and Russian diplomats held high-level talks in Switzerland aimed at defusing a powder keg before it explodes and ignites war.
“We have been engaged in significant diplomatic efforts as a global community and been very, very clear that it is not in the interest of Ukrainian people, it’s not in the interests of the Russian people, to see a conflict in which Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are killing each other,” Trudeau said.
“Any movement of Russian troops into Ukraine will be absolutely unacceptable and met with a clear response from the international community.”
Russia has at least 100,000 troops at the shared border with Ukraine, raising the specter of an invasion even though President Vladimir Putin denies that it is the goal.
Rather, Russia wants guarantees that Ukraine not be granted membership in the Western alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and missiles be deployed on Russia’s doorstep.
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