General NewsInternational News

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky visits Canada for first time since Russia invasion

Listen to this Article Now
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
Spread the love

By Antoinette Radford

BBC News

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Canada for the first time since the Russian invasion.Canadian TV showed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meeting Mr Zelensky and the first lady on the runway in Ottawa.It comes after increasing doubts from international partners over how it should continue providing aid to Kyiv.Mr Zelensky arrived from Washington where he had hoped to secure further funding but it is unclear if US Congress will back more aid.

Earlier in the week, he urged world leaders to continue to support Ukraine to help fight off Russian forces at the United Nations in New York.Diplomatic tensions are on the rise, after Mr Zelensky criticised Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, for banning imports of Ukrainian grain.Mr Zelensky was joined by First Lady Olena Zelenska where they were greeted on the tarmac by hugs from Canadian officials including Mr Trudeau.Canada reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine on arrival – the country’s UN ambassador told news agency Associated Press it needs to do more to help.We’re going to continue to do everything we can to support the Ukrainian people, said Bob Rae.

Although this the first in person visit for Mr Zelensky since the war began, he has addressed parliament via video link before.The president will address parliament again to plea for continued support from a country that has already provided weapons, tanks and training for Ukrainian soldiers.Its package so far has totalled around $6bn (£4.8bn) but in June Trudeau did pledge his country remained committed to supporting Ukraine.

He will also meet business leaders in Toronto on his trip.Mr Zelensky and wife Olena received a warm greeting on the tarmac from Justin Trudeau.In the US, Republican scepticism 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 brutalise Ukraine without consequence, Mr Biden said.The US Congress has now authorised 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 Mr Zelensky’s visit, President Biden approved further funding for Kyiv valued at £265m ($325m).It includes upgrades to air defences – 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.