Ukraine’s Prime Minister is planning to come to Canada to seek ammunition and heavily armored vehicles as Kyiv prepares for counteroffensive against Russian forces, The Globe and Mail reports.
Denys Shmyhal said in an interview that the Ukrainian government would also like the Canadian government to offer war risk insurance to Canadian companies investing in Ukraine as part of an effort to support rebuilding and foreign investment there.
The Canadian government’s 2023 budget, unveiled in March, offered a new $2.4-billion loan for Ukraine but little in the way of additional military aid. Shmyhal said he’s not concerned about the lack of new military aid allocated for Ukraine in the federal budget and remains hopeful that Canada will provide more military aid anyway, among other forms of assistance. In the past 12 months Ottawa has provided more than $1-billion in military gear to Kyiv.
“Now, we need heavy armored vehicles. And we need more artillery shells: ammunition for howitzers and ammunition for tanks,” he said in an interview Thursday. “It’s crucially important for the organization of our counteroffensive.”
Mr. Shmyhal said his visit will include signing co-operation agreements with a Canadian company in the nuclear industry – he did not provide more details – and noted that Kyiv has already signed deals with foreign firms including some from Canada. He said Ukraine is seeking Canada’s support for the Kyiv Security Compact – a proposal for security guarantees from allies drafted by a group including former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula. Mr. Zelensky’s plan includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from all of Ukraine, a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes and measures to guarantee nuclear safety.
Canada might help pave the way for more foreign investment
Mr. Shmyhal said Ukraine needs countries such as Canada to help pave the way for more foreign investment – and that includes special insurance to reduce the financial risk of operating in a war zone.
“We will need additional support in war risk insurance because no investors will come to Ukraine if the governments of our partners will not support, and will not insure [against] war risks in Ukraine.”
He said he will be talking to Canada about what Ottawa might do. “So if a Canadian company will decide to invest money into Ukraine, we will ask the Canadian government to create some mechanism to support Canadian investments.”