Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in Canada on Thursday night for a two-day visit, after meeting with US President Joe Biden and other world leaders in Washington and New York. Zelenskiy is seeking to rally support from Canada, which has a large Ukrainian diaspora and has been one of the most vocal allies of Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion.
Zelenskiy will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and address the Canadian parliament in Ottawa on Friday, where he is expected to thank Canada for its assistance and urge for more help in defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He will also seek to attract private-sector investment in Ukraine’s future, as the country faces economic challenges amid the ongoing conflict.
Canada has provided more than $8.9 billion Canadian (US$6.6 billion) in support to Ukraine since the war started in February 2022, making it the highest per-capita direct financial supporter of Ukraine among the Group of 7 industrial nations. Canada has also welcomed more than 175,000 Ukrainians who have fled the war and offered them pathways to permanent residency and citizenship1.
Zelenskiy’s visit comes as Ukraine continues to face attacks from Russian forces, who have occupied parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula. On Thursday night, Russia launched overnight strikes in at least three Ukrainian regions, killing one woman in the town of Zelenivka and hitting a recreation facility near the Black Sea port of Odesa.
Zelenskiy has called for more international pressure on Russia to end its aggression and respect the 2015 Minsk agreements, which aimed to establish a ceasefire and a political solution to the conflict. He has also asked for more military aid and security guarantees from the US and NATO, as well as a clear roadmap for Ukraine’s membership in the Western alliance.