Canadian officials confirmed on Thursday the country will donate battle tanks to Ukraine as well as send Canadian Armed Forces to train Ukrainian soldiers.
The news comes a day after the United States and Germany each announced they would be sending tanks to the Eastern European country embroiled in what’s now a year-long war with Russia.
Minister of National Defence Anita Anand announced Canada will fulfill Ukraine’s request for “Leopard 2” tanks, donating four to Ukraine as part of ongoing military assistance.
“These tanks will allow Ukraine to liberate even more of its territory, and defend its people from Russia’s brutal invasion,” the minister said.
Anand said the government decided on four tanks after careful consideration around not depleting Canada’s own military reserves.
It may not be the last time Canada makes that consideration.
“Although I am announcing the donation of four tanks today, this number may grow as we coordinate donation and sustainment plans with our allies,” the minister added.
Anand said Canada plans to deploy Canadian Armed Forces trainers as well, in order to teach Ukrainian soldiers how to operate the tanks.
The decision comes after much anticipation.
For more than a week leading up to Thursday’s announcement, journalists put questions to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking if he would supply the tanks.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz amplified the pressure on Wednesday by officially green-lighting Canada to make the donation. The permission was necessary as part of a deal between the producer of the tanks, Germany, and Canada.
As True North reported, last week Canada donated 200 armoured vehicles valued at about $90 million.