Ukraine win in 2023 would be ‘big boost’ for global economy, says Freeland – National | PKBNEWS

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday underlined the importance of helping Ukraine win its fight against Russian invasion this year, a victory she said would be a “big blow.” inch” for Canada and the global economy.

Still, Freeland did not say whether Canada would provide Leopard 2 tanks to help Ukraine win that victory, becoming the latest cabinet official to remain silent on the matter.

“Canada is absolutely committed to supporting Ukraine and we will be with the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes,” she told reporters outside the Liberal cabinet retreat in Hamilton.

“As Minister of Finance, let me also add that I truly believe that a clear, strategically viable and stable Ukrainian victory this year would be a big boost for the global economy and a big boost for Canada.”

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Ukraine has been pressuring its Western allies for weeks to send hundreds of tanks it says are essential to repel Russian forces, which are seeking to regain ground lost during Ukrainian counter-offensives. last summer and fall. New Russian offensives are expected to begin in the spring, raising new questions about what additional help allies can offer for the next phase of Ukraine’s defense.

Germany has been accused of blocking the export of its Leopard 2 tanks out of fear that Moscow would view such a move as a further escalation of the conflict.

NATO and many of its members pressed Germany to allow the tanks to be released. The Polish government said on Monday it would go ahead and send its tanks to Ukraine after submitting a formal request, which Germany later said it would approve.

The Canadian Forces have approximately 112 Leopard 2s in several configurations which were acquired from Germany in 2007 at the height of the war in Afghanistan. But so far, the federal government has not committed to exporting any of these tanks to Ukraine.

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On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was in “regular conversation with Ukrainian leaders” about the country’s military needs, but had “nothing to announce” at this time.

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Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said later Monday that she had spoken to her German counterpart about the issue. But she did not say whether Ottawa was asking permission to send tanks.

Freeland on Tuesday pointed to Defense Minister Anita Anand’s comments last week that “everything is on the table” when it comes to supporting Ukraine. Anand made the comments while announcing that Canada will provide 200 armored vehicles purchased from Roshel, a company based in Mississauga, Ontario, at a cost of $90 million.

Freeland added that she spoke to Anand and Trudeau at this week’s cabinet retreat about continued military support for Ukraine, but did not specifically mention tanks.

“We will continue to support Ukraine because it is the right thing to do,” she said.

Reports emerged earlier on Tuesday that a deal with Germany could be imminent.

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German news outlet Der Spiegel and Reuters both reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow other countries like Poland to do so. do with their Leopard tanks. Scholz is scheduled to deliver a speech to Germany’s parliament and take questions from lawmakers on Wednesday.

The Associated Press also reports that Joe Biden’s administration is close to approving sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, citing an unnamed official.

Britain has already announced that it will send its own Challenger tanks to Ukraine with a major military aid package.

Freeland has not commented on this information, which has not been confirmed by the Pentagon or the White House.

The federal government says Canada has provided about $5 billion in military, financial and humanitarian aid since Russian forces entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

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This has made Canada one of the largest per capita contributors to Ukraine, Freeland said, adding that financial assistance in particular is in Canada’s national interest.

“This economic battleground is very important,” she said. “Helping the Ukrainian government be viable on a day-to-day basis, delivering pensions to Ukrainians, literally keeping the lights on, that’s important, and we’re on it.”

—With files from Aaron D’Andrea and The Canadian Press

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