Canada Loans Ukraine Nearly $400M as Nation Readies for Russian Invasion

Canada has pledged a nearly $400 million loan along with $6.1 million worth of military aid to Ukraine as the threat of a Russian invasion grows.

Though Russia is adamant that it has no plans to invade Ukraine, there are currently about 130,000 Russian troops near the Ukrainian border as tensions rise. Canada, a longstanding ally of Ukraine, says it's stepping in to support Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Monday, saying the lethal weapons and ammunition provided are in response to Ukraine's specific request with the intent of deferring "further Russian aggression." Trudeau said he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday to reaffirm Canada's support as Russian troops surround Ukraine's eastern border.

Ukraine troops
Canada has pledged a nearly $400 million loan along with $6.1 million worth of military aid to Ukraine as the threat of a Russian invasion grows. Getty Images

Trudeau said this loan is on top of a previously announced $120 million loan and non-lethal weapons that Canada has already provided to Ukraine in January.

"Ukrainians can always count on Canada to be there for them when needed," said Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit S. Sajjan. "By working together, we can strengthen the economy and help advance governance reforms. I authorized this proposed loan to support Ukraine's ability to respond to its population's needs amid Russia's aggressive actions. This is just one step in helping build a secure future for Ukrainians, and I will continue to look at ways to support Ukraine."

Canadian military trainers were pulled out of Ukraine this past weekend and have been temporarily relocated elsewhere in Europe. This follows the U.S. and United Kingdom's troops, who were stationed there to train Ukrainian forces, being ordered to withdraw this weekend as Russia's threat increases.

"We're not seeking confrontation with Russia, but the situation is intensifying rapidly and we are showing our resolve," Trudeau said, according to the Vancouver Sun. "It's important for Canadians and the world to know that Canada will continue supporting Ukraine and its independence, integrity and sovereignty, including its right to defend itself."

Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, echoed Trudeau's announcement, saying the decision to send weapons and ammunition marks a "major policy shift" that places Canada with the growing coalition of democracies helping Ukraine.

In 1991, Canada became the first Western country to recognize Ukraine's independence.

Since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions against more than 440 Russian and Ukrainian citizens and organizations that were in coordination with Russian allies.