Canada will extend its security force training mission in Ukraine for three years until March 2022, the defense ministry said.
“While Ukraine’s defense and security forces continue to make considerable progress, ongoing insecurity in the region underscores the importance and relevance of Canada’s military mission,” National Defence Canada said in a Monday, March 18 statement.
Operation UNIFIER, also known as Canadian Armed Forces Joint Task Force-Ukraine, is the Canadian Armed Forces mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine, launched in Septemer 2015. According to the Canadian government, the mission has so far trained more than 10,800 Ukrainian security forces in 248 separate courses.
About 200 CAF personnel are deployed to Ukraine every six months.
UNIFIER is part of Canada’s military, financial and assistance to Ukraine which has totaled more than $750 million (USD $) since January 2014.
On March 15, Canada, the European Union and the United States announced new sanctions against Russia in response to last year’s naval standoff with in the Azov Sea.
The Minsk agreements were struck to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, but they have not been successful.
Ottawa’s support for Ukraine also includes non-lethal military equipment, including communications systems, explosive disposal equipment and medical kits and a mobile field hospital.