World Politics

A Ukraine victory in 2023 would be ‘big boost’ to global economy, Freeland says – National

Melanie Joly to discuss Russia-Ukraine war with German foreign minister - National

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday underscored the importance of helping Ukraine win its fight against Russia’s invasion this year, a victory she said would be a “big boost” for Canada and the global economy.

Yet Freeland would not say if Canada would supply Leopard 2 tanks in order to help Ukraine achieve that victory, becoming the latest cabinet official to remain mum on the issue.

“Canada is absolutely committed to supporting Ukraine and we will be with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,” she told reporters outside the Liberal cabinet retreat in Hamilton.

“As finance minister, let me also add that I really believe that a clear, strategically viable and stable Ukrainian victory this year would be a big boost for the global economy and a big boost for Canada.”

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Ukraine has been pressing Western allies for weeks to send them hundreds of tanks it says are critically needed to repel Russian forces, who are seeking to regain ground lost to Ukrainian counter-offensives last summer and fall. Fresh Russian offensives are expected to begin in the spring, raising further questions on what additional aid allies can offer for the next phase of Ukraine’s defence.

Germany has been accused of blocking the export of its Leopard 2 tanks over fears that Moscow will view such a move as a further escalation of the conflict.

NATO and many of its members have pressed Germany to allow the tanks’ release. Poland’s government on Monday said it will go ahead and send its tanks to Ukraine after filing a formal request, which Germany later said it will approve.

The Canadian Forces has roughly 112 Leopard 2s in several configurations that were acquired from Germany in 2007 during the height of the war in Afghanistan. But so far, the federal government has not committed to exporting any of those tanks to Ukraine.

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