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Canada withdraws 'non-essential' staff from its embassy in Ukraine

Canada withdraws ‘non-essential’ staff from its embassy in Ukraine

Ottawa on Sunday announced the return of “non-essential” staff from its embassy in Ukraine, due to tensions with Russia.

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“Canada has made the decision to withdraw non-essential Canadian employees and the temporary dependents from the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine,” Global Affairs Canada said in a statement on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the federal government had already announced the repatriation of families of employees stationed in Kiev.

“While we continue to closely monitor the situation, the safety of Canadians remains our top priority. The Department emphasized that our officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens, if needed.

Despite this, the embassy remains open and will continue to provide services to Canadians in Ukraine.

As announced earlier this week, Canada will reinforce the team at the Canadian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, with officials with expertise in areas such as security sector reform, conflict, democratic reform, and consular and diplomatic services. Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and will allow us to continue to assess developments in the situation and respond to them with support for Ukraine.

Last Wednesday, Trudeau’s government announced the expansion of the Ukrainian military training mission led by the Canadian Armed Forces since 2015. Moreover, 60 additional soldiers will join the 200 trainers already deployed in the country, while the unit can be increased to 400 soldiers.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced a shipment of non-lethal materials, saying he was “deeply concerned” about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.