Ottawa, ON – James Bezan, Shadow Minister for National Defence, issued the following statement today regarding the announcement to extend Canada’s military training mission Operation UNIFIER in Ukraine:
“Conservatives have been calling for the extension of Operation UNIFIER, a mission first established by our former Conservative government, since February. While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, it falls short of adequately providing support to Ukraine against increasing Russian aggression.
“When Ukraine asked for Canada to extend and expand Operation UNIFIER, Conservatives did not hesitate to express support to our ally. Conservatives have long stood with Ukraine as they face mounting threats against their sovereignty and freedom from Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin proxies.
“The recent acts of Russian hostilities in the Black Sea region and the Kerch Straight raises concerns that the Liberal announcement falls short of addressing and deterring aggression. What the Liberals have announced maintains the status quo, but fails to expand the mission’s needs to increase the number of personnel trained, including senior officers. While Canada’s participation in the international round of sanctions is a step in the right direction, the Ukrainian military needs more direct support in training and we are capable of providing it.
“Ukraine’s survival depends on support from its allies and Canada must do more. An Andrew Scheer Conservative government will expand Operation UNIFIER and provide defensive lethal aid, continuing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Ukrainian allies.”