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Canada and Latvia commit to jointly train Ukrainian combat leaders

11th May 2023 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in Seoul


Operation UNIFIER is the Canadian Armed Forces's military training and capacity building mission in support of Ukraine. (Photo: Canadian DND)

Canada reaffirms its commitment to Latvia's security and expands its training mission in Ukraine with the Latvian National Armed Forces, aiming to provide leadership development training for Ukraine.

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand and her Latvian counterpart Ināra Mūrniece have discussed mutual defence interests, including their commitment to supporting Ukraine's fight against Russian aggression.

During their meeting, the leaders announced a new joint initiative to train Ukrainian combat leaders on Latvian soil, starting on 15 May.

This programme, jointly developed by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Latvian National Armed Forces, will provide leadership development training for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) through Operation UNIFIER.

This new training initiative adds to Canada's ongoing deployments through Operation UNIFIER, which includes approximately 80 CAF members deployed to Poland, training sappers on a range of primary and advanced engineering skills, and training AFU tank crews on the use of Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Additionally, approximately 170 CAF members are deployed to the UK, training Ukrainian personnel on individual skills required for frontline combat.

Anand and Mūrniece also reasserted their commitment to implementing the Canada-Latvia Joint Declaration signed in June 2022 at the Madrid Summit.

In this joint declaration, Canada agreed to lead NATO forces as the Framework Nation in Latvia and work with Latvia and NATO Allies to generate and stage forces to surge to a combat-capable brigade.

The two leaders also discussed issues of mutual interest ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Canada has been a devoted supporter of Ukraine since the start of the war, providing over $8 billion in financial, military and humanitarian assistance.

As part of this ongoing support, CAF members are currently deployed to Ukraine as part of Operation UNIFIER, training members of the AFU in basic and advanced military skills.

Anand has also praised Latvia's substantial cooperation in supporting Ukraine: 'The expansion of our training for Ukrainian military officers will contribute to Ukraine's battlefield success, and provide yet another opportunity for Canadian and Latvian troops to work together.

'I thank Minister Mūrniece for her strong cooperation, and I thank the people of Latvia for their ongoing hospitality to members of the Canadian Armed Forces.'

Operation UNIFIER is the CAF's military training and capacity-building mission supporting the AFU. 

It was launched in 2015 at the request of the Ukrainian government and, in 2022, was expanded and extended until March 2025.

The Shephard News Team


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