‘Stay with us to victory’: Zelensky makes plea in Canadian parliament
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly thanked Canada and received a number of standing ovations from parliamentarians.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Canada to stay with his country until victory as he went to the parliament in Ottawa seeking to bolster support for Ukraine’s war against the Russian invasion.
Mr Zelensky flew into Canada’s capital late on Thursday after meetings with President Joe Biden and lawmakers in Washington. He spoke at the United Nations’ annual meeting on Wednesday.
“Moscow must lose once and for all. And it will lose,” Mr Zelensky said during his address in Parliament.
He said Canada has always been on the “bright side of history” in fighting previous wars and said it has helped saved thousands of lives in this war with aid.
He also thanked thanked Canadians for financial support and for making Ukrainians fleeing war feel at home in Canada.
Mr Zelensky repeatedly thanked Canada and received a number of standing ovations from dignitaries and parliamentarians.
“I have a lot of warm words and thanks from Ukraine to you,” Mr Zelensky said in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office before his speech. “You have helped us on the battlefield, financially and with humanitarian aid. Stay with us to our victory.”
Mr Trudeau called the visit an opportunity to show Mr Zelensky “how strongly and unequivocally we stand with Ukraine” and announced an additional 650 million Canadian dollars (£393 million) over three years for 50 armoured vehicles that will be built in Canada.
It is Mr Zelensky’s first visit to Canada since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. He previously addressed the Canadian Parliament virtually after the war started.
“I have made it clear that our government will stand with you for as long as it takes,” Mr Trudeau said in his speech.
Mr Trudeau said Canada has provided nearly 9 billion Canadian dollars (£5.47 billion) in military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine since the war began.
More than 175,000 Ukrainians have gone to Canada since the war started and an additional 700,000 have received approval to go as part of an initiative that supports temporary relocation of those fleeing the war. The initiative allows for an open work permit for three years with pathways to permanent residency and citizenship.
Mr Zelensky is facing questions in Washington about the flow of American dollars that for 19 months has helped keep his troops in the fight against Russian forces.
A hard-right flank of Republicans, led by Donald Trump, Mr Biden’s chief rival in the 2024 race for the White House, is increasingly opposed to sending more money overseas.
He also faces challenges in Europe as well as cracks in what had been a largely united Western alliance behind Ukraine.
Late on Wednesday, Poland’s prime minister said his country is no longer sending arms to Ukraine, a comment that appeared aimed at pressuring Kyiv and put Poland’s status as a major source of military equipment in doubt as a trade dispute between the neighbouring states escalates.
Ukrainian troops are struggling to take back territory that Russia gained over the past year. Their progress in the next month or so before the rain comes and the ground turns to mud could be critical in rousing additional global support over the winter.