Canadian Armed Forces need to be better equipped: Foreign Affairs Minister

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TORONTO — The Canadian Armed Forces must be higher outfitted to face new challenges in gentle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Overseas Affairs Minister Melanie Joly stated on Friday.

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Talking on the College of Toronto’s Munk Faculty of World Affairs and Public Coverage, Joly stated there are new challenges on the world stage after Russian President Vladimir Putin determined to start out a warfare towards Ukraine.

“It can be crucial for our army to be higher outfitted. It can be crucial as a result of the world has modified. And we want to have the ability to face the brand new challenges,” she stated.

“We take inventory of what Germany has finished, which has elevated its army and protection price range. And in that sense, I feel that we have to work with the Armed Forces to verify we’re prepared.”

Joly added that NATO and Canada are able to face any additional Russian aggression.

“NATO has been ensuring that we’ve strengthened the jap flank,” she stated. “Canada has stepped as much as the plate to be sure that we might be offering extra forces and clearly this can be a prime precedence for presidency.”

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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has hinted that extra money could also be coming for the army within the upcoming federal price range.

Amongst NATO allies, the objective is to make defence spending equal to 2 per cent of the dimensions of home economies. The newest figures from the alliance put Canada’s defence spending at 1.39 per cent of the nation’s gross home product in 2021.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has unified western nations like by no means earlier than and strengthened NATO’s alliance, Joly stated, including that “there’s nothing like having one villain” to unite towards.

“President (Vladimir) Putin sought to divide the West and exploit our variations, however we’re extra united than ever,” she stated.

Canada is working with its allies within the G7 and NATO to ship army gear to Ukraine, Joly stated.

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“It’s necessary for … Ukrainians to have the ability to defend themselves and to cease the bombing of civilians, but in addition it has an influence on the diplomatic aspect, as a result of it’s a method for Ukraine to be stronger on the negotiation desk,” she stated.

Joly reiterated that the federal authorities is keen to usher in limitless numbers of Ukrainian refugees and officers are attainable airlifts from neighbouring European nations to deliver people to Canada.

Canada can be serving to jap European nations internet hosting Ukrainian refugees, together with Moldova, Romania and Poland, by its funding to the United Nations’ businesses which are serving to the refugees, Joly stated.

“We’ve offered $200 million by way of humanitarian assist. We’re working with the UN, and its completely different businesses, together with the UNHCR,” she stated. “Specific curiosity and assist must be given to Moldova as a result of it’s one of many poorest nations of Europe.”

Greater than 3.5 million folks have fled Ukraine to date throughout the 23-day Russian invasion.

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