According to the Ukraine Support Tracker of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute, Canada’s military aid to Ukraine was about $2.86 billion between Jan. 24, 2022 and Feb. 29 of this year.

This positions Canada in ninth place among countries that allocated military aid to Ukraine, behind the United States ($64 billion), Germany ($14.9 billion), United Kingdom ($7.8 billion), Denmark ($7.1 billion), the Netherlands ($5.7 billion), Poland ($4.5 billion), Sweden ($4.1 billion) and France ($4 billion).

Among those countries, half (the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and France) rank ahead of Canada in terms of their GDP, and the other half, behind Canada.

In return, Ukraine has provided a human shield that is protecting the West, including Canada, from Russia’s insatiable expansionism that could otherwise lead to a Third World War.


Indeed, on March 7, U.S. President Joe Biden recognized that stark reality in his state of the union address: “Overseas, Putin of Russia is on the march, invading Ukraine and sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond. If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not. But Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons it needs to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking.”

Thus, if unstopped by Ukraine, Russia will march into a NATO member country forcing Canada to war as Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides that an attack on any NATO member country shall be considered as an attack against all of them, including Canada.

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In heroically defending its and Europe’s territorial integrity, Ukraine has already paid the ultimate price with tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties, including children, immeasurable human suffering caused by Russian genocidal acts and massive destruction by Russia’s relentless missile and drone attacks. The total cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine is assessed by the government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, the European Commission and the United Nations at the end of 2023 at $668 billion over the next decade.


On Sept. 22, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said, “Canada will stand with Ukraine with whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.”

However, in Canada’s 2024 budget, an amount of $1.6 billion has been attributed over five years, starting in 2024-25, for the provision of lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine. This means around $320 million per year for the next five years, or only 22 per cent of the military aid provided by Canada to Ukraine during each of the first two years of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine, that started on Feb. 24, 2022.

Even prior to this budget, several countries allocated substantially more military assistance to Ukraine than Canada. Canada’s 2024 budget will create an even greater disparity in military aid provided to Ukraine between these countries and Canada.

Canada can and should do more now — not only for Ukraine’s sake but also for its own — to avoid paying later the ultimate price to protect the fundamental principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.


Eugene Czolij, a lawyer, is President of the NGO “Ukraine-2050,” Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Montreal, and former Ukrainian World Congress President (2008-2018).

This article is reprinted with the author’s permission from the Toronto Star.  See the original here.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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