April 21, 2024

Italy and Canada sign defense pact with Ukraine – February 24, 2024

The leaders of Canada and Italy signed security deals with Ukraine after talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, marking the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Kiev.

Canada and Italy joined Britain, Germany, France and Denmark in a 10-year security pact designed to bolster Ukraine's security until Kiev becomes a member of the NATO military alliance.

“We will continue to support Ukraine, which I have always considered the right of the Ukrainian people to defend themselves,” Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told a press conference.

“That necessarily means military support, because to confuse the word 'peace' with 'surrender', as some do, is a hypocritical attitude that we will never share,” he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa remains “unwavering” in its support for Kiev, two years after Russia's invasion.

“Today, along with our allies and partners, Canada has pledged continued support to Ukraine, including military and humanitarian assistance,” he said.

Zelenskiy told reporters at a news conference that Saturday was “a unique day for our country.”

The two defense deals were signed at the start of a joint press conference with Zelenskyi, Meloni, Trudeau and the leaders of Belgium and the European Union.

Canada will provide up to 3 billion Canadian dollars ($2.22 billion) in financial and security assistance to Ukraine in 2024, Trudeau's office said.

Meloni did not provide any financial details about the Italian deal.

($1 = 1.3505 Canadian dollars)