Canada to Send Non-Lethal Military Equipment to Ukraine

Canada’s Defence Minister, Rob Nicholson, has announced Canada’s decision to send non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine in order to aid the country in protecting its eastern border from Russian aggression. Nicholson made the announcement while he was visiting a military base in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, where a Hercules military plane loaded with “nonkinetic military equipment” was ready to take off.

The announcement by the Defense Minister was made only few hours after NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, assured Ukrainian officials that the military alliance is ready to support the country with advisers and assistance. Ukrainian government accuses Russia to have incited violence in eastern Ukraine in shape of pro-Russia rebels that unsurfaced a month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March. Consequently, Ukraine and Western countries, including Canada, blame Moscow for backing the separatists with weapons and soldiers, though the claim has been repeatedly denied by the Russian government at every occasion.

Rasmussen threatened Moscow that any further escalation in eastern Ukraine would result in a tough response from the West. During his visit to Kyiv on Thursday morning, Rasmussen stressed that “I call on Russia to step back from the brink, step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making.” He added that “I urge Russia to follow the genuine path to peace, to stop its support for separatists, to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s border and to engage in a sincere dialogue for peaceful solution.”

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