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Reuters vows to visit Ukraine to prevent Russian attack, Reuters vows to visit Ukraine

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly speaks with US Secretary of State Antony Blink (out of frame) at the Washington State Department on November 12, 2021. Via Olivier Douliery / Pool REUTERS

Author David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly will visit Kyiv next week to reaffirm her support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and strengthen efforts to prevent “aggressive action” by Russia, Ottawa said on Saturday.

Moscow has deployed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, and the U.S. said on Friday it feared Russia was preparing an excuse to invade if diplomacy failed to meet its goals.

Canada, which has a large population of Ukrainian ethnicity and is politically influential, has taken a hard line with Moscow since it took over Crimea in 2014.

“The gathering of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine threatens the security of the entire region. These aggressive actions must be repelled,” Joly said in a statement.

“Canada will work with its international partners to maintain a rules-based international order.”

Joly Denys Shmygal will meet with the Prime Minister of Ukraine and travel to the west of the country to speak with a 200 training mission in Canada since 2015.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday and “stressed that any military attack in Ukraine will have serious consequences, including coordinated sanctions,” Trudeau’s office said.

Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 440 people and entities for annexing Crimea.

Joly, who will embark on a week-long trip to Europe on Sunday, will visit Brussels to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

He will also travel to Paris to speak with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the statement said.

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