Ottawa has already handed over a draft of a bilateral security agreement to Kyiv, but the two sides have yet to agree on terminology. Canada uses the term “an agreement on security assurances.” However, after the negative experience of the 1994 “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances,” in which Russia “assured” that it would safeguard Ukraine’s future security, Ukraine wants the stronger, more legally binding term “commitment” to be used.

Nevertheless, Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Natalka Cmoc, said in an interview with European Pravda that, while the draft agreement provided by Canada refers to “security assurances” for Ukraine, rather than “security guarantees”, she doesn’t see this as an insurmountable problem and believes the two countries will be able to sign the document within a few weeks.

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“I am very glad to tell you that on Friday [Jan. 12] Canada sent a copy of the draft treaty to Ihor Zhovkva [Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine] in order to initiate more detailed discussions in the next couple of weeks and wrap up the talks between Ukraine and Canada,” she said.

Cmoc believes the Canadian position in offering an agreement on security assurances is in line with the views of other G-7 countries: “There is an understanding, as there is among all the G-7 countries, that we are looking to create a document that will provide assurances to Ukraine, and the urgency is here.”

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She also noted that the adoption of the security agreement would be in line with the existing agreements between the leaders of the two countries.

“As our Prime Minister Trudeau had shared with President Zelensky in his very important visit to Canada in September, our Prime Minister had said that Canada is committing to multi-year support, and putting that to paper, as well as making sure that Ukraine feels there is predictable support in the future as well,” Cmoc added.

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