Canada has announced that it will keep a 200-strong military training mission in Ukraine until March 2022 adding three more years to have troops in the Eastern European country. The additional three years is to help domestic security forces handle continuing tensions with Russia.
The Canadian troops, who first went to Ukraine in September 2015, had been due out at the end of March but will now stay until March 2022. The Canadian training directly helps Ukraine’s defense and security forces to uphold domestic security and territorial integrity according to a statement from Canadian authorities.
The Canadian troops are in western Ukraine, far removed from clashes between Ukrainian soldiers and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. They have trained more than 10,800 members of the Ukrainian security forces, the statement said. The troops are part of a larger mission that involves the United States, Britain, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.
Additionally, Canada will also retain a lower-profile training mission in Iraq, where Canada has around 250 personnel until March 2021. The troops will continue to offer training, advice, and assistance to the Iraqi security forces.