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Canada to confiscate huge Russian cargo plane, hand it to Ukraine: Trudeau

Canada Ukraine cargo jet confiscate An-124
Canada will confiscate and hand over to Ukraine a Russian An-124 Ruslan cargo plane. Photo: Wikimedia
Canada to confiscate huge Russian cargo plane, hand it to Ukraine: Trudeau
In a boost to its cargo sector, Ukraine will receive from Canada a Ruslan An-124, the “younger brother” of the world’s largest cargo plane Mriya, destroyed by Russia in February 2022

Ukraine will receive a confiscated huge Russian cargo jet, the An-124 that was arrested in Canada last spring, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during an unannounced visit to Kyiv.

The Canadian leader arrived to the Ukrainian capital on Saturday, 10 June. Justin Trudeau announced the transfer of the plane while promising to provide Ukraine more military and financial aid, Interfax Ukraine reported.

Trudeau Canada Ukraine Zelenskyy
Photo by: President of Ukraine’s Official website

“Today, through legislation that we have passed, we are confiscating this aircraft that was owned by Russia and we are beginning the process of transferring this asset to Ukraine so that Russia will never again use it to support the war,” said the Canadian prime minister.

The legislation Trudeau refers to is a mechanism for confiscating Russian assets in favor of Ukraine that Canada adopted in June last year. Amendments to its Special Economic Measures Act created the possibility of confiscating and using Russian assets to help Ukraine.

During the conference, Trudeau announced Canada would provide an additional $500 million Canadian dollars ($373 million USD) in military aid to Ukraine.

Additionally, Canada will provide Ukraine with 287 additional air defense missiles and 10,000 shells of 155 mm caliber.

During his visit, the Canadian leader supported Ukraine in becoming a NATO member “as soon as additional circumstances allow.”

“Ukraine must have a choice about how to defend itself and protect its people. And that’s why Canada will fully support Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO within the framework of the work of the North Atlantic Alliance to support Ukraine’s accession as soon as possible, as soon as additional circumstances allow,” Trudeau said in his speech during the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Saturday, Interfax reported.

The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is known as the younger brother of the world’s largest airplane An-225 Mriya (“dream” in Ukrainian).

After the sole operating Mriya was destroyed on 25 February 2022 when Russian troops landed in Hostomel airport near Kyiv, the An-124 became the world’s second-heaviest gross weight production cargo airplane and heaviest operating cargo aircraft.

Mriya destroyed
The world’s largest cargo airplane Mriya was destroyed at the Hostomel airfield on. Collage by Euromaidan Press

The destruction of Mriya dealt a blow to Ukraine’s aviation industry and air cargo sector, as well as to the global aviation community that admired their unique capabilities and history. Ukrainian authorities have vowed to rebuild the destroyed Mriya at Russia’s expense, estimating the cost at $3 billion.

This is the Canadian leader’s second visit to Ukraine during Russia’s full-scale war. He last visited Kyiv in May 2022, where he met President Volodymyr Zelensky and reopened the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine amid war.

 

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