OTTAWA — Canada has purchased more than 20,000 rounds of artillery ammunition for Ukraine, Defence Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday.
Anand, speaking at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Victoria, said the $98-million purchase will include the needed fuses and charge bags and comes from the $500-million Ukrainian military aid package announced in April's federal budget.
She said the rounds, which are the NATO artillery standard of 155 millimetre and will work with the artillery guns Canada shipped to Ukraine in April, are "exactly what Ukraine has asked allies to provide."
"Canadian aid continues to flow into Ukraine, and we are working around the clock to identify and provide even more military aid to Ukraine," she said.
Anand said Russian President Vladimir Putin's "full-scale, illegal and unconscionable invasion of Ukraine cannot be allowed to succeed and it will not," noting Russian forces have been pushed back, Kyiv remains in Ukrainian control and Canada's embassy has reopened.
"Canada will continue to have Ukraine's back," she said. "Putin cannot redraw maps to suit his own needs. Sovereign nations cannot be erased from the map. And the Ukrainian people's basic right to independence and self-determination cannot be undermined without consequence."
Canada donated more than $130 million in military equipment prior to Tuesday's announcement on ammunition, including protective gear, drone cameras, guns, night-vision goggles and meal packets.
Last month, Canada shipped four M777 howitzers to Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when the two leaders spoke Tuesday, according to a summary of the conversation provided by the Prime Minister's Office.
"The two leaders discussed how Canada could continue to support Ukraine while working with like-minded partners to address the broader global impacts of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war," said the written statement.
"This includes sharply rising fuel prices and an unfolding global food security crisis."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.
The Canadian Press