Canada in talks about sending more forces to eastern Europe: Anand
Published February 2, 2022 at 1:15 pm
OTTAWA — Defence Minister Anita Anand says the government believes in the importance of bolstering NATO’s eastern flank in response to Russia’s military buildup, and that discussions are underway around increasing Canada’s military presence in eastern Europe.
Yet even as the United States became the latest NATO member to commit more forces to the region with the deployment of 3,000 additional troops to Europe, Anand is declining to say when a Canadian decision could come.
Anand made the comments in an interview with The Canadian Press from Latvia, her last stop on a three-country tour that included visits to Ukraine and NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss the military alliance’s standoff with Russia.
Canada has about 600 troops leading a NATO battlegroup in Latvia tasked with defending against any Russian attack, along with around 200 military trainers in Ukraine.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed NATO for the tensions, Anand accuses the Kremlin of starting this latest crisis and says it is up to Russia to ease the situation.
Anand says one of her aims while in Europe was to reassure friends and allies that Canada continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with them, even as she consulted on what more is needed in the region.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2022.
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