September 17, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed the visit by Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, to Canada.
The two leaders discussed the steps required to restore territorial integrity in Ukraine and to ensure the country’s sovereignty in light of the Putin regime’s illegal occupation of the Crimean Peninsula and its military aggression in Eastern Ukraine. They also took the opportunity to discuss the peace plan announced between Ukraine, Russia and pro-Russian separatists on September 5, 2014. The leaders also discussed progress on the Canada-Ukraine free trade negotiations and directed officials to accelerate their work.
In an address to Canada’s Parliament, President Poroshenko praised the unwavering support that Canada has provided to Ukraine at this time of conflict and uncertainty in his country.
During the President’s visit, Prime Minister Harper announced the following two measures that will promote economic and social development in Ukraine:
- Canada and Ukraine have reached an agreement on the provision of Canada’s loan to Ukraine to promote economic and financial sector reforms in the country; and,
- Additional humanitarian assistance is being provided to Ukraine to assist various international partners in providing medical support, food, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, emergency child protection, and emergency response and preparedness to help the estimated 3.9 million people living in areas affected by violence, as well as the nearly 200,000 individuals registered as internally displaced throughout Ukraine.
- This is the first official visit to Canada by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
- On March 13, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced support towards helping Ukraine stabilize its economy and promote economic and social development, including in the form of a loan. This support was conditional on the establishment of a broader package of International Monetary Fund support for Ukraine.
- The loan agreement signed today outlines the terms of Canada’s loan to Ukraine, which Export Development Canada will deliver as the agent for the Government of Canada. The funds will be provided in one disbursement and Ukraine will service and repay the loan over a five-year period.
- On September 4, 2014, Prime Minister Harper announced support through the NATO Trust Funds, with a focus on building up Ukrainian command and control as well as communications and computer capabilities to assist in improving personnel management systems and reform logistics and standardization within the Armed Forces.
- By expediting and increasing multi-year bilateral development assistance to Ukraine in the areas of advancing democracy and sustainable economic growth, Canada will have more than doubled its historical annual bilateral development support to Ukraine by the end of this year.
- In 2009, Canada confirmed Ukraine as one of 20 countries of focus that are part of Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Strategy Agenda. This status was re-confirmed in 2014.
- To date, five rounds of negotiations on a Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement have taken place, with the most recent being held in September 2012 in Kyiv.
- A free trade agreement with Ukraine would provide increased access for Canadian goods to the Ukrainian market, address non-tariff barriers, and otherwise facilitate an expanded bilateral commercial relationship.
“Canada remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine in the face of the Putin regime’s persistent military aggression. The measures announced today will contribute to Ukraine’s efforts to stabilize their economy and help those displaced by the Putin regime’s expansionism.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper