Minister Anand attends UDCG meeting
Ramstein Air Base, Germany (20 January 2023) – Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand and Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, participated in the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The UDCG meeting, hosted by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, sees defence ministers and senior military officials from over 50 countries discuss the ongoing security crisis in Ukraine and coordinate military assistance to address Ukraine’s current and longer-term defence priorities.
At the meeting, Minister Anand reinforced the importance of efforts by Allies and partners to coordinate military assistance donations, including the delivery of urgent priority equipment to Ukraine. Earlier this week, Minister Anand announced additional donations to Ukraine, including 200 Senator Multi-purpose Armoured Vehicles sourced from Canadian company Roshel. Last week, Minister Anand announced that Canada is sending Ukraine a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions sourced from the United States.
Prior to the UDCG meeting, Minister Anand visited Kyiv, which included a bilateral meeting with Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov. Discussions focused on the current state of conflict in Ukraine, and how Canada can continue to assist Ukraine in meeting their pressing defence needs. Minister Anand highlighted Canada’s longstanding military support to Ukraine, including the Operation UNIFIER training mission, equipment donations such as armoured combat support vehicles and multi-purpose armoured vehicles, artillery, drone cameras, and winter clothing, and ongoing efforts by the Royal Canadian Air Force to transport Ukraine-bound military aid donated by Canada, Allies, and partners.
“Canada is resolutely committed to helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion,” asserted Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand. “We are helping our Ukrainian friends by training new recruits, transporting aid and donating equipment, including the 200 additional armoured support vehicles I announced earlier this week in Kyiv. Through the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and on a bilateral basis, I remain in close contact with my colleague, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, to understand Ukraine’s most pressing defence needs. Canada will continue to stand with Ukraine, now and for as long as it takes.”
The UDCG has met eight times at the ministerial level since it was first convened in Ramstein, Germany in April 2022. The group was formed to advance collective support efforts for Ukraine, including de-conflicting donations, advancing training on NATO standard military equipment, and enhancing Ukraine’s defence capabilities.
Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over $5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and other assistance to Ukraine.
Canada has committed more than $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since February 2022.
On January 18, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is donating 200 Senator Armoured Personnel Carriers to Ukraine from Roshel, a Canadian company based in Mississauga, Ontario. This aid is valued at over $90 million.
On January 10, 2023, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine. This high-priority donation, valued at approximately $406 million, is the first Canadian acquisition of an air defence system to Ukraine.
Since late March 2022, the CAF has also been assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners, transporting over six million pounds of military donations to date.
Approximately 230 Canadian Armed Forces personnel are currently deployed to both the United Kingdom and Poland under Operation UNIFIER, which has trained over 35,000 Ukrainian Security Force personnel since its launch in 2015.