Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine in a call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy against the backdrop of an intensifying attack by Russia on the country.
Trudeau affirmed “his commitment to continue supporting the Ukrainian people and working alongside allies and international partners to hold Russia accountable for its unjustifiable and illegal invasion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory,” according to a readout of the call issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Trudeau also commended Zelensky for his “outstanding bravery and front-line leadership, calling it inspirational for Canadians and people around the world” in the face of Russia’s aggression.
Separately, a Canadian MP on Wednesday suggested that an important street in Canada’s capital be named after the Ukrainian leader. Charlie Angus, said that Charlotte Street, where Russia’s embassy is located in Ottawa, should be called Zelensky Boulevard.
“It is only a symbol but in fight for democracy and freedom, symbols of hope and defiance of tyranny matter,” Angus said in a post on Twitter.
The city of Ottawa has installed eight signs in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in front of Russia’s embassy, which read “Free-Libre Ukraine”, where ‘Libre’ is free in French.
Meanwhile, Canada’s military intelligence chief has said that the coordinated support from the Western nations for Ukraine may have thwarted any plans China may have had to using this period of crisis to attempt an annexation of Taiwan.
Testifying before the House of Commons defence committee on Wednesday, Major-General Mike Wright told MPs that a week ago, “we were very concerned about China and in fact wondering if China would take the opportunity to accelerate their own plans for greater control of their abroad, specifically Taiwan,” according to report by CBC News.
However, the situation seems to have changed, with Wright saying, “I would hope with the reaction of the international community, and specifically Nato and the West, that China would have pause for any of their authoritarian plans in the future.”
Canada has also announced new sanctions targeting Russia‘s energy sector, targeting ten key individuals from two important companies, Rosneft and Gazprom.
“Canada’s support for Ukraine and its people is unwavering. We will continue to meet every act of aggression by Russia’s leadership with measures designed to weaken its ability to wage war,” Foreign minister Melanie Joly said on Wednesday, while outlining the restrictions.
“These measures are intended to put further pressure on Russia’s leadership to cease its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” a statement from the government department Global Affairs Canada said.