Toronto, Canada, Sept 22 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky made Friday his first official visit to Canada since the beginning of the Russian invasion to discuss Ottawa’s support for his country.
The Ukrainian president, traveling with his wife, Olena Zelenska, began his agenda with a meeting in Ottawa with the Canadian governor general, Mary Simon, and then was received by Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in the Canadian Parliament.
At the start of their meeting, Trudeau stated that the Ukrainian president’s visit is evidence that Canada supports “everything Ukraine is doing” and that the country is clearly against “Russia and its violation of the peace and stability of the world.”
“It is a very exciting day for Canada to be able to welcome him here,” he added.
Zelensky thanked the prime minister for his welcome and the support Trudeau and Canadians have given to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022.
Zelensky also joked that while he knows Canada is “beautiful,” he can’t see it in person.
“I don’t have time to see it, but I know it’s beautiful. I think after the victory, after our common victory, of course, I will come back, maybe with my children,” Zelensky added.
Trudeau and Zelensky will address the war in Ukraine and are scheduled to sign an agreement on strengthening economic relations between Ottawa and Kyiv.
The Ukrainian president will also give a speech in the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament.
In the afternoon, Zelenski will travel with Trudeau to Toronto, Canada’s economic capital, to meet with prominent business people and promote Canadian investments in Ukraine’s reconstruction.
Before leaving Canada, Zelensky will hold a meeting in Toronto with representatives of the Ukrainian community.
About 1.4 million Canadians are of Ukrainian origin, almost 4% of the country’s population, including Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland.
Canada has become one of Ukraine’s main allies in its war against Russia. Since January 2022, Ottawa has committed more than C$8.9 billion (US$6.615 billion) in aid to Kyiv.
Of this figure, some C$4.95 billion is direct financial aid, and C$1.8 billion is military aid, ranging from delivering Leopard 2 tanks to air defense systems, artillery, armored vehicles, and ammunition.
In addition, Canada has provided a C$2.4 billion loan to Ukraine this year to support the country’s budgetary needs.
Ottawa has also imposed sanctions on more than 2,600 individuals and entities related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine since Moscow authorities illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014. EFE