WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Canadian government’s decision to extend its military mission in Ukraine is counterproductive and does not aid the political process, the Russian Embassy in Canada said in a press release.
“Canadian Government’s decision to extend the military mission in Ukraine is counterproductive and does not facilitate intra-Ukrainian political process, including direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass, as prescribed by the Minsk accords,” the release stated on Monday.
The embassy added that Canada should pressure authorities in Kiev to reach a peaceful solution instead of pursuing military ventures, the release stated.
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.
Kiev launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in 2014, when the two regions refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power in what they perceived to be a coup. The sides to the conflict continue to exchange fire, despite the ceasefire deal, reached in Minsk in February 2015 and brokered by the so-called Normandy Format comprising Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine.