Tensions in Ukraine | Canada moves troops and withdraws embassy staff

Canada moved its military forces to western Ukraine on Sunday and announced the temporary repatriation of all non-essential personnel stationed at its embassy in Kiev, due to tensions at the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Updated yesterday at 3:18 p.m.

“Our Canadian Armed Forces have moved west of the Dnieper River and we will continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety,” Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Sunday.

The Minister provided an update on the tense situation between Ukraine and Russia at a press conference in Kyiv, after meeting with the leaders of the Canadian military operation Unifier, in an effort to support Ukrainian security forces .

Ukrainian Ministry of Defense Press Service via Associated Press

Defense Minister Anita Anand arrived in Ukraine on Sunday.

“The intelligence that we use is consistent with that of our NATO allies that – and it is well known – that there is Russian aggression on the Ukrainian border in Belarus,” Anita stressed, adding again a warning to Russia that it faces “severe penalties and consequences” if it does not. Tensions are eased.

Canada currently has 900 soldiers “at sea, on land and in the air” in support of the NATO mission in the context of geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe.

Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops and heavy weapons near Ukraine’s borders, according to Western countries fearing an invasion.

Also on Sunday, days after recalling his family members, Ottawa announced the repatriation of non-essential diplomats working at its Ukrainian embassy.

Canada will bolster its embassy team in Kyiv “with officials with expertise in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, and consular and diplomatic services,” according to a statement.

Although the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv remains open, the Canadian government advises its citizens not to travel to Ukraine “due to the current threats from Russia and its military deployment in and around the country”.

The United States and the United Kingdom on Sunday raised the risk of new sanctions against Russia, as Washington and its NATO allies stepped up efforts to dissuade Moscow from invading Ukraine, which itself has called on the neighboring country to withdraw its forces from the border. and dialogue.