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Canada to donate nearly $12 million to Ukraine's drone production, Czech ammunition initiative

by Kateryna Hodunova April 26, 2024 11:47 PM 2 min read
Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair speaks during a news conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, March 16, 2020. Blair at that time served as Canada's public safety and emergency preparedness minister. (David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Canada will donate 3 million Canadian dollars ($2.2 million) to Ukraine's domestic drone production and around 13 million ($9.5 million) to a Czech-led ammunition initiative, Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair announced on April 26.

The announcement of a new batch of military aid from Canada comes after the Ramstein-format meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which was held online on April 26, the two-year anniversary of the group. The meeting included representatives from more than 50 countries.

This is the first time Canada has directly contributed to the production of military drones in Ukraine. The donation will be made in collaboration with the U.K., according to the Canadian government's statement.

Blair also confirmed that Canada will provide additional funding to the Czech-led ammunition initiative, which aims to purchase 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside of Europe for Ukraine.

In March, Canada committed 40 million Canadian dollars ($29.2 million) to the initiative, and now its total contribution has grown to 53 million ($38.7 million), the statement read.

Funding for these donations comes from a previous military assistance package worth 500 million Canadian dollars ($371 million), announced by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in June 2023.

Blair also gave updates on other military provisions for Ukraine. Canada will deliver an additional 100 SkyRanger drones from Teledyne FLIR in Waterloo, bringing the total contribution to 900 instead of 800. The deliveries will begin in May.

Blair said the first 10 of 50 armored combat support vehicles donated to Ukraine will be sent to Europe this summer. After Ukrainian personnel complete the vehicle training, they will be delivered to Ukraine in the fall.

Ten multirole boats committed in January are set to be delivered this July, Blair added.

"Ukrainians have been relentless in their fight for freedom, democracy, and the rules-based international order that keeps us all safe. On the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Canada reaffirms that it will stand with Ukraine for as long as victory takes," Blair said.

Canada's budget for 2024 allocated 1.6 billion Canadian dollars (about $1.16 billion) to Ukraine's defense aid over the next five years.

Canada has been one of Kyiv's strongest supporters since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. Ottawa has provided Ukraine with over $10 billion in various forms of assistance, including around $2.8 billion in military aid.

Canada allocates $1.5 billion to Ukraine to finance budget deficit
Canada provided Ukraine with 2 billion Canadian dollars ($1.5 billion), which will be used to finance the budget deficit, including social assistance, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal wrote on March 21 on X.
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