OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian diplomats and their families are staying in Ukraine for the time being but Ottawa is constantly reviewing their safety, which is of paramount importance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated on Monday.
Trudeau side-stepped questions about whether he would order an evacuation and also did not answer when pressed on the possibility of Canada sending troops to Ukraine as a way of countering Russia’s military build-up along the border.
The U.S. State Department announced Sunday it was ordering diplomats’ family members https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-orders-departure-ukraine-embassy-staff-family-members-2022-01-23 to leave Ukraine, saying military action by Russia could come at any time.
Asked whether Canada would follow suit, Trudeau said: “There are many contingency plans in place. The safety of Canadian diplomats and their families is of course paramount … we will make determinations based on safety on the ground.”
Trudeau told reporters his Liberal government would be making further announcements about help for Kyiv but gave no details. Canada said last Friday it would offer Ukraine a loan https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canada-offer-ukraine-loan-up-c120-mln-russia-crisis-deepens-pm-2022-01-21 of up to C$120 million ($95 million).
Canada has 200 troops stationed in western Ukraine on a training mission. A further 540 Canadian soldiers are taking part in a NATO mission in Latvia.
($1 = 1.2662 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Mark Potter)