Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, met with his close ally, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Friday (September 22), and thanked him for his constant support to Kyiv.
Zelensky, who is on his tour to strengthen international backing for his country’s struggle to repel a fierce Russian invasion, landed in the capital city of Ottawa late on Thursday (September 21).
Canada, which is a staunch supporter of Kyiv and also home to the world’s second-largest Ukrainian diaspora, is set to announce that it is sending more weapons to Ukraine during Zelensky’s visit, as per a government official.
Ahead of a bilateral meeting in the Canadian PM’s office, Trudeau told Zelensky the visit was “an opportunity for Canadians to express directly to Volodymyr and through him to the Ukrainian people how strongly and unequivocally we stand with Ukraine”.
In return, Zelensky said he had “a lot of warm words and thanks” from Ukraine for the military and humanitarian aid Canada had supplied.
Zelensky is scheduled to address parliament in Ottawa at 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) and then hold a news conference with Trudeau at 2:45 p.m. ET (1845 GMT) before flying to Toronto to meet business leaders and then address a rally.
Zelensky, during his visit to parliament, thanked Ottawa for its constant support to Canada since the Russian invasion.
“Thank you for your support. You’ve been with us from the first days of the full-scale war” and “I hope that you stay with us to our victory,” Zelensky said after chatting with a senator of Ukrainian descent who came wearing her grandmother’s traditional garb.
Earlier, the Ukrainian leader had released a statement saying that he would be talking to the Canadian PM about defence cooperation, and would also sign treaties to strengthen economic ties.
Zelensky meets Biden, gets aid package
On Thursday (September 21), Zelensky met US President Joe Biden at the White House and managed to win pledges of unstinting support and air defence weapons from the latter, but also issued a warning that Kyiv might get tipped over by Russians if the Republicans continue to oppose military aid.
Speaking at the Oval Office at the start of talks, Biden said the US remains committed to providing support in Kyiv’s efforts to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.
“We’re supporting a just and lasting peace, one that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Biden.
Zelensky returned the favour by saying: “We greatly appreciate the assistance provided by the United States to combat Russian terror, really terror.”
Afterwards, Biden formally announced a military aid package worth $325 million that includes air defence systems and the second tranche of cluster munitions fired by a 155-millimeter Howitzer cannon. Additionally, the president informed that the first US M1 Abrams tanks will arrive in Ukraine “next week”.
“Next week, the first US Abrams tanks will be delivered in Ukraine,” Biden said.
However, the White House announced there was no deal to provide the long-range missiles that Zelensky wanted desperately for his troops.