Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to address the Canadian Parliament on Friday, aiming to strengthen backing from Western allies in support of Ukraine’s struggle against the Russian incursion.
Canadian television had broadcasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcoming Mr. Zelensky and the First Lady, Olena Zelenska, as they disembarked on the runway in Ottawa.
Associated Press reported that Zelenskyy and Trudeau have plans to travel to Toronto for a meeting with the Ukrainian community residing in the area, following the address.
This marks the Ukrainian president’s inaugural visit to Canada since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Prior to this, he had addressed the Canadian Parliament through a virtual platform following the commencement of the conflict.
Canada’s United Nations representative, Bob Rae, emphasized the significance of President Zelenskyy witnessing the depth of Canada’s commitment to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict.
He said, “We have done a lot to help him and we need to do more.
“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to support the Ukrainian people.”
Approximately 1.4 million individuals of Ukrainian heritage reside in Canada, constituting nearly 4% of the country’s total population.
Canada has extended over $8.9 billion Canadian (equivalent to US$6.6 billion) in assistance to Ukraine, which the Trudeau administration characterizes as the most substantial per-person direct financial aid among the Group of 7 industrialized countries.
This all follows growing uncertainty among international allies about the manner in which they should continue offering assistance to Kyiv.
Poland, on Wednesday, had declared that it would shift its focus away from supplying Ukraine with new weapons and would, instead, prioritize its own defense by investing in more advanced weaponry.