Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Canada extends Iraq and Ukraine military missions to 2021 and 2022

Canada extends Iraq and Ukraine military missions to 2021 and 2022

The troops, who first went to Ukraine in 2015, are due out at the end of March.

Military aid was supposed to have expired at the end of March but now Canadian troops will remain in Ukraine until 2022 and in Iraq until 2021.

Canada is a leader in the global community's support for the people of Ukraine, the statement says. The training provided by the Canadian Armed Forces directly helps Ukraine's defence and security forces to uphold domestic security and territorial integrity, contributing to regional and worldwide stability, reads the statement.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan are scheduled to hold a news conference at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Monday.

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The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula where most residents are ethnic Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the authorities that came to power amid riots during the February 2014 coup in Ukraine.

Canada is also now involved in a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation led mission in Latvia with 500 members of the Armed Forces now training there.

While Ukraine's defense and security forces "continue to make considerable progress", ongoing insecurity in the region underscores the importance and relevance of Canada's military mission, according to the statement by Canada's ministry of defense. Since 2015, Canada has so far trained almost 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

Since then several major offensives in Iraq and Syria pushed Islamic State back and it now occupies a tiny plot of territory in Syria.

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