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Canada-Ukraine relations

Canada and the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Learn about Canada’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Bilateral relations

Canada is represented in Ukraine by the Embassy of Canada to Ukraine, in Kyiv. Ukraine is represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa, and consulates general in Toronto and Edmonton.

On December 2, 1991, Canada became the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence. Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed a close relationship since. Our bilateral relationship is strengthened by warm people-to-people ties, rooted in the Ukrainian-Canadian community of 1.3 million people.

Canada’s response to the illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea and the full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, we led international support for the people of Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, Russia began a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.

We continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war.

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In coordination with partners, Canada has imposed sanctions against thousands of individuals and entities in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

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Trade relations

In 2023, Canada’s merchandise exports to Ukraine totalled $523.3 million, and merchandise imports from Ukraine totalled $172.1 million. The top 3 exports to Ukraine were military vehicles and parts, arms and munitions, and machinery, mechanical, electrical, and electronic appliances or equipment. Canada’s top imports from Ukraine were sunflower seeds and oils, natural uranium, and electrical machinery and equipment. In 2022, the stock of Canadian direct investment in Ukraine stood at $112 million (total book value).

The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), which entered into force on August 1, 2017, represents an important milestone in the Canada-Ukraine relationship.

On January 27, 2022, Canada and Ukraine jointly announced the launch of negotiations to modernize the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, further reinforcing the rules-based international trading system and strengthening Canada’s connectivity to the region.

Officials conducted negotiations from June 2022 to April 2023 leading to the signature of a joint declaration announcing the substantive conclusion of CUFTA-modernization negotiations on April 11, 2023. On September 22, 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the final agreement in Ottawa.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought significant disruptions to international trade. Canadian companies have been forced to adapt and mitigate risks in response to the added strain of this conflict on international supply chains and global investment.

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Development and humanitarian assistance

Since 1991, Canada has been one of Ukraine’s leading bilateral development assistance partners. Between 2014 and 2021, Canada committed more than $250 million in development assistance. Since 2022, Canada has committed over $403 million in development assistance to support Ukraine’s emerging needs in the face of Russia’s illegal invasion.

Our bilateral development assistance targets the following three action areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy:

  1. Inclusive governance: Focuses on strengthening the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of Ukraine’s government and justice system, supporting greater citizen participation in decision making and upholding human rights.
  2. Growth that works for everyone: Fosters inclusive economic growth and shared economic prosperity through the promotion of entrepreneurship and job creation, particularly in agriculture.
  3. Empowerment of women and girls: Strengthens the rights, protection and empowerment of Ukrainian women and girls with support for women’s rights organizations, political participation and decision making, and accountability efforts.

Canada has contributed over $400 million in humanitarian funding since the crisis began in 2014.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Canada has since allocated $352.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and neighbouring countries aligned with the United Nation’s Humanitarian Response Plan. This includes support to key partners such as United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide emergency health interventions, protection services (including child protection and gender-based violence response), and essentials such as shelter, water, sanitation, and food.

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Canada is committed to using its international assistance to support Ukraine’s goals for greater Euro-Atlantic integration. We also support securing Ukraine’s future as a democratic, rules-based state that delivers security, prosperity and freedom for all of its citizens.

Since January 2014, we’ve committed more than $890 million in multi-faceted support to Ukraine, using a range of instruments including the following:

Military cooperation

At the 2023 NATO Leaders’ Summit in Vilnius, Leaders established a NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC), a joint body, where Ukraine participates as an equal member with NATO Allies, including Canada. The NUC works towards advancing political dialogue, engagement, cooperation and Ukraine’s aspirations for NATO membership, and it also serves as a crisis consultation mechanism between NATO and Ukraine. Additionally, during his visit to Kyiv on February 24, 2024, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy signed the Agreement on Security Cooperation between Canada and Ukraine. This strategic security partnership formalizes Canada’s enduring support to Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity, rebuilds its economy, protects its citizens and pursues its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

Canada is working closely with Ukraine on training. Operation (Op) UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) military training, professionalization, and capacity building mission in support of Ukraine. Launched in 2015 at the request of the Ukrainian government following the illegal annexation of Crimea, it was expanded in early 2022 during the Russian pre-invasion military build up, and currently extends by Government of Canada mandate through to 2026.

In addition to contributions through Op UNIFIER, the Department of National Defence and the CAF cooperate with the Security Forces of Ukraine through the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP). More than 3,000 military personnel have received training through the MTCP since 1993. Moving forward, Ukraine is expected to be the single largest beneficiary of funding under the MTCP.

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Peace and Stabilization Operations Program

Since 2014 Canada has committed more than $115 million for Ukraine through the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs).

PSOPs programming seeks to strengthen security and stability in Ukraine. Supported initiatives focus on improving the safety of Ukrainians by bolstering security and defence institutional capacities, as well as assisting with the identification and removal of mines and other explosive remnants of ware. PSOPs support also focuses on countering Russian disinformation and promoting justice and accountability, including for victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program

Since March 2015, Canada has deployed Canadian civilian police officers to Ukraine through the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program, which is jointly managed by GAC (through PSOPs), the RCMP and Public Safety Canada. The program supports Ukrainian police reform through the Canadian Police Mission in Ukraine (CPMU), a bilateral Canada-Ukraine mission.

Prior to the full-scale invasion, Canada had over 26 officers in Ukraine through the CPMU and the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine). Past contingents supported and advised Ukrainian counterparts on: gender-based violence response and investigations, implementing community policing models, improving internal accountability and oversight mechanisms. All Canadian officers were evacuated to Poland in February 2022. The current contingent does frequent trips into Ukraine to provide training on tactical first aid and a Police Safety Instructor Course (PSIC) training focused on use of force.

Women, peace and security

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS are the cornerstone of Canada’s feminist foreign policy. The Action Plan aims to enhance peace and security for all people through the meaningful inclusion of women in decision-making and the protection of their rights. In Ukraine, Canada supports the implementation of the WPS agenda through, for example, support to Ukraine’s second National Action Plan on WPS and to other initiatives working alongside Ukrainian partners to increase the participation of diverse women in the security and defence sectors, including in response to reports of conflict-related sexual violence.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Ukraine work in multilateral forums, such as:

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