13:58 GMT01 June 2020
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    Canadian Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan said that the government would extend its military training mission in Ukraine by two years.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The government of Canada will extend its military training mission in Ukraine by two years, Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan said in a press conference on Monday.

    "Government of Canada is extending Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces military training mission in Ukraine, until the end of March 2019,"  Sajjan announced.  “Today we continue to stand and support our valued ally — Ukraine.”

    In 2015, Canada first sent 200 troops to Ukraine under Operation UNIFIER to provide training and capacity-building assistance to the country's military forces and to back their efforts to maintain sovereignty.

    The Defense Ministry added that the Canadian Armed Forces would also "be transitioning overtime to support strategic institutional reform of Ukraine’s defense establishment."

    Since Canada announced in 2014 that it would engage in a multinational operation supporting Ukraine forces, the Joint Task Force, that also includes the United States and the United Kingdom, trained over 2600 Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel.

    In March 2014, the Crimean peninsula voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, in a move that has not been recognized as legitimate by the United States, the European Union and other countries. The southeast of Ukraine has been locked in conflict with Kiev after the Ukrainian government launched a military campaign against local residents, who refused to recognize the new coup-installed government.


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