Canada is First NATO Member to Publicly Send Soldiers to Help Train Ukraine’s Military

Canadian soldiers in Exercise MAPLE ARCH in Poland, Sept. 9, 2014Canada is operating independently of NATO to provide additional military assistance that will help Ukraine defend itself from Russia. . . .

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson was in Kiev Monday for Canada’s announcement, which will include sending Canadian soldiers to Ukraine to train that country’s military police. It could also include training in battlefield medicine and security measures.

The aid stops short of providing lethal equipment such as weapons – something Kiev has long sought from North Atlantic Treaty Organization members.

A group of Canadian military police arrived in Ukraine Monday evening to begin training. The military would not provide exact numbers but said the contingent amounts to less than 10.

The Canadian government and Ukraine issued a declaration of intent Monday in Kiev which is not a legally binding treaty under national or international law but nevertheless a commitment to expand Canada’s military cooperation with Kiev. . . .

“Canada and Ukraine are committed to continue working together to strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian government and its security forces to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its people,” the agreement says.

Image: Canadian soldiers in Exercise MAPLE ARCH in Poland, Sept. 9, 2014 (photo: Cplc Martin Long/Canadian Army)