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Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly visits Kyiv

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly visits Kyiv Photo: Mélanie Joly, Foreign Minister of Canada (Getty Images)

On February 2, the head of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, arrived in Kyiv for a visit. During the meeting with the Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, they discussed sanctions against Russia, arms for Ukraine, and other topics.

During a press conference, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that he is in constant communication with his Canadian colleague. He expressed gratitude for Joly's involvement and assistance in addressing the challenges faced by Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war.

Topics discussed

According to Kuleba, they discussed politics, economics, amendments to the free trade agreement between Ukraine and Canada, as well as Russia's frozen assets. They also addressed:

  • new levels of sanctions against Russia;
  • implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula, where Canada co-chairs in Point 4 - the release of POWs and deported individuals.

"I want to emphasize the special role that Mélanie and Canada play in returning Ukrainian children abducted by Russia. Joly's and Canada's dedication to this issue is a vivid example of leadership in human rights protection," noted Kuleba.

Kuleba highlighted that the mechanism proposed by Canada to resolve the aforementioned issue is effective, and Ukraine expects other countries to actively participate in efforts to bring back Ukrainian children.

The parties also discussed the issue of arming Ukraine. Kuleba stated.

"We continue to work on strengthening air defense systems and other weapons that Canada can help us with," Kuleba said.

Coalition for the return of Ukrainian children

Joly mentioned that on February 2, Canada and Ukraine will initiate a coalition for the return of Ukrainian children. Ottawa will discuss this matter with other countries, including Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Qatar.

"We will inform them about these children and persuade states to unite on this issue. We will work with those countries that have direct relations with the Russian Federation to somehow facilitate the return of children. Every child who returns home is a victory," Joly emphasized.

Deportation of сhildren

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by Russia, Ukrainian children have been systematically deported to the annexed Crimea, Belarus, or remote areas of Russia.

The deportations have prompted the International Criminal Court in The Hague to issue an arrest warrant for dictator Vladimir Putin and the Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova, due to the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.

According to Dmytro Lubinets, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukraine has successfully repatriated a total of 517 children and 2,828 adults, of which only 150 civilians.