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Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky makes unannounced visit to Canada


Sep 22, 2023


OTTAWA — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Canada on an unannounced visit to rally support for his country.

Canadian TV showed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meeting Zelensky on the runway in Ottawa.

It is Zelensky’s first trip to Canada since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Zelensky arrived from Washington, where he had been meeting with US President Joe Biden and other politicians.

Ukraine’s president was in Washington hoping to secure further funding to help his country fight off invading Russian forces. Earlier in the week, he urged world leaders to continue to support Ukraine at the United Nations in New York.

But diplomatic tensions are on the rise, after Zelensky criticized Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, for banning imports of Ukrainian grain

Support for Ukraine’s war effort is also becoming contentious in some countries, with many running thin on resources to give.

In the US, Republican skepticism about funding the war is growing despite pleas from the president not to turn its back on Ukraine.

“Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence,” Biden said.

The US Congress has now authorized more than $110bn (£89bn) in aid to Ukraine, but polls suggest support among Americans for further spending has declined.

Many Republicans argue the money would be better spent on domestic issues, but during Zelensky’s visit, President Biden approved further funding for Kyiv valued at £265m ($325m). It includes upgrades to air defenses — but not the long-range missiles that President Zelensky has been requesting.

Poland also announced on Wednesday it would no longer be sending new weapons to Ukraine and would instead be focussing on defending itself with more modern weapons. — BBC


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