Canada reiterated its support on Thursday for helping build a strong, independent and democratic Ukraine.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson announced that the Canadian government will fund projects to strengthen human rights.
“I am pleased today that Canada will be funding a series of projects to strengthen human rights, improve Ukraine’s business environment and give support to civil society. These Canadian bilateral investments are advancing democratic and economic reform. Only with sound and democratic governance will Ukraine prevail,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson made the announcement standing in the Foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa next to Ukraine’s visiting Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
In total the new funding represents $14 million on top of $400 million in aid provided over several years.
The new money includes $8 million to battle human trafficking, $3 million for polio immunization and $1.6 million for legal assistance to protect human rights.
Already this week the federal government announced support for democratic reform of municipal government in Ukraine and the shipment of night vision goggles to support the Ukrainian military.
Klimkin thanked Nicholson for Canada support and spoke of the possibility of a free trade deal between Canada and Ukraine.
“Later this day I will meet a number of other ministers and real friends of Ukraine, including Trade Minister Ed Fast, talking about the possibility to have a speedy negotiation process fully focussed on ambitious and effective free trade agreement which should inject another momentum in our bilateral trade and investment relations,” Klimkin said.
Klimkin acknowledged the need for ongoing efforts to fight corruption in his country but said great strides have been made.
He also reiterated the desire for Ukraine to remain and independent and democratic state free of Russian interference.