Canada to Discuss Extension of Training Mission in Ukraine - Commander

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the mediabankUkrainian and Canadian defense ministers meet in Lvov region
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The Canadian government will hold discussions on the potential extension of its training mission in Ukraine in the upcoming months, Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) Commander Lt.-Col. Tim Arsenault told Sputnik on Tuesday.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Arsenault noted that a potential extension of the training program is not something he could answer definitively at present.

"It is something that the Canadian government will be working on in the months to come," Arsenault stated when asked whether the Canadian authorities are planning to extend the Ukraine training program.

He added, however, that Canada will remain committed to the peace and stability in Ukraine in the years to come.

"The cooperation relationships between our two countries have always been excellent," Arsenault pointed out.

The primary focus of the Canadian instructors in Ukraine is to provide tactical training to soldiers, including to military police, but also medical training and activities to counter improvised explosive devices, according to the Canada’s Department of National Defense.

Kiev is responsible for screening the participants in Canada’s military training program in Ukraine, Arsenault added.

"The screening process for recruits is conducted by our Ukrainian partners," Arsenault stated when asked how the Canadian authorities ensure that members of radicalized groups do not participate in the training.

Arsenault noted that he has been very impressed with the professionalism and dedication of Ukrainian soldiers.

He added that the Canadian and Ukrainian militaries have enjoyed a mutually-beneficial relationship for more than 20 years, and Kiev has been well aware of Ottawa’s requirements.

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"This is very clearly reflected in the quality of the soldiers that we have been working with since the start of our mission," Arsenault observed.

Members of the Ukrainian forces worked on their language and flight safety skills in Canada within the framework of Ottawa’s training mission dubbed Operation UNIFIER, according to the Canadian Department of National Defense.

"We have already trained some of Ukrainian soldiers back in Canada," Arsenault stated. The commander added that he was not aware of any future training opportunities for Ukrainian military personnel in Canada at this time.

Canada began training members of the Ukrainian armed forces in the summer of 2015.

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