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Canadian foreign minister arrives in Kyiv, meets Kuleba

by Dinara Khalilova February 2, 2024 1:57 PM 1 min read
Canada's Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shake hands posing for a joint photo on Feb. 2, 2024, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Eduard Kryzhanivskyi/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly arrived in Kyiv to meet Ukrainian top officials and launch a joint initiative to return Ukrainian children deported or forcibly transferred by Russia, the Canadian government reported on Feb. 2.

Canada is one the largest supporters of Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression. Since January 2022, Canada has committed over $9.7 billion in military, financial, humanitarian, and other aid to Ukraine.

On her fourth visit to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Joly met with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

They discussed Ukraine-Canada free trade, the use of frozen Russian assets, military aid, sanctions, the Ukrainian peace formula, and Russia’s mass abduction of Ukrainian children, Kuleba said on X (formerly Twitter) after the meeting.

Joly is set to meet Presidential Office head Andriy Yermak to launch the International Coalition for the Return of Ukrainian Children, according to the Canadian government.

“Canada will work with Ukraine and coalition members to coordinate efforts, raise awareness of this issue, and advocate for the return of children to Ukraine with partners from around the globe,” reads the announcement.

Joly also plans to hold a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Kuleba to advance negotiations on a bilateral security agreement between Canada and Ukraine under the Group of Seven (G7) declaration.

The Canadian foreign minister will also meet families and children who have been impacted by the war as well as local organizations supporting victims of conflict-related violence, the government added.

“Children can not be used as pawns in war. In their faces, we see our humanity, and Canada is proud to lead the effort alongside Ukraine to ensure their return home to Ukraine,” said Joly.

“Canada is a proud friend of Ukraine, and our message to Ukrainians is simple: we are not going anywhere.”

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