Canada to buy $406-million surface-to-air missile system for Ukraine
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OTTAWA – Canada is buying a U.S. surface-to-air missile system for Ukraine nearly a year after Russia’s invasion of the country began.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed U.S. President Joe Biden of the purchase on the sidelines of the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City on Tuesday.
Trudeau’s office said the move would involve buying an American-made National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System.
Defence Minister Anita Anand’s office said it will cost $406 million, and is “the firstCanadian donation of an air-defence system to Ukraine.”
The money stems from the $500 million Trudeau announced in military aid for Ukraine last November during the G20 summit in Indonesia.
The decision to send this type of equipment comes in response to intensified Russian air raids on cities, military sites and critical infrastructure such as power stations.
Surface-to-air missile systems can protect against drone, missile and aircraft attacks “with a high success rate,” Anand’s office said in a news release.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his thanks to Trudeau, saying the equipment will help protect citizens.
“Your true leadership in standing for democracy and human rights has been vividly proven again. Thank you for helping us to protect our sky,” he said in the Twitter post.
In the past month, the U.S. and Germany both announced plans to send Ukraine such systems, while France has pledged tanks.
Moscow, which started the war in Ukraine last February, has decried the military aid as a provocation aimed at weakening Russia’s sway in the world.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.