Canada Extends Training in Ukraine
12 Mar 17 | By t
Canadian troops have been providing training assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces – in the form of medical, military police and EOD training – since September 2015. On 6 March the Canadian government announced its intention to continue the programme – Operation UNIFIER – with the same number of Canadian troops (200) for a further two years, till the end of March 2019.
To date, some 3,200 Ukrainian troops have received this training at two bases in the west of the country. The apparent intention, according to the Canadian government statement, is to transition the training over time "to support strategic institutional reform of Ukraine’s defense establishment.” The Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board includes representatives from Canada, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and the United States.
There are also moves afoot to formalise a Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Agreement, which would be a possible precursor to adding Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List, allowing Canadian defence manufacturers to ship weapons to Ukraine. To date, Canada’s assistance has been limited to non-lethal systems, though Ukraine has been requesting assistance in areas such as sniper rifles and anti-tank weapons since 2014.