Non-essential Canadians urged to leave Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia – National

Canadians in Ukraine should “assess whether (their) presence is essential” as tensions with Russia continue to mount, according to an updated travel advisory issued Monday evening.

The new language from Global Affairs Canada has been added to an existing advisory to avoid non-essential travel to the country that has been in place since last week. It was also shared by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, on social networks.

Canada’s warning comes amid growing fears that Russia is considering a military invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow has denied.

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Canada weighs small arms shipment to Ukraine amid Russian threat: sources

The UK began withdrawing diplomatic staff from Ukraine on Monday, a day after the US ordered the families of its own embassy workers to leave the country. The United States warned on Sunday that Russian military action “could occur at any time.”

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Canada has yet to issue a similar directive for its diplomatic personnel or their families. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that their safety was “paramount” and that his government had “numerous contingency plans” in place for any actions Russia takes.

“We will continue to be there for Ukraine and to keep Canadians and Ukrainians safe,” Trudeau told reporters.


Click to play the video: 'Crisis in Ukraine: Trudeau says the safety of diplomats and their families is 'paramount''







Ukraine crisis: Trudeau says safety of diplomats and their families is ‘paramount’


Ukraine crisis: Trudeau says safety of diplomats and their families is ‘paramount’

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada did not say whether an evacuation of diplomats’ families was being considered or whether any aspect of the embassy’s workforce would change.

“Global Affairs Canada takes the safety and security of our staff, their families and our overseas missions very seriously,” spokesperson Jason Kung said in an email.

“Global Affairs Canada works with its missions to develop careful contingency planning for any type of emergency and continuously monitors the security situation at its missions abroad. We do not discuss the operational details of our missions abroad for security reasons.

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Global Affairs Canada suffers ‘cyberattack’ amid Russia-Ukraine tensions: sources

The agency is currently working to recover from what government sources told Global News was a “cyberattack” that the government says was carried out by Russia or Russian-based hackers.

The attack, which the federal Treasury Board confirmed was first detected on Jan. 19, left some diplomats without access to some online services nearly a week later.

The Liberal government has expressed support for Ukraine as Russia is massing troops on the borders of the former Soviet state. Ottawa last week announced a $120 million loan to the Ukrainian government and recommitted Canadian soldiers to train Kiev’s security forces.

Government sources also told Global News on Monday that Trudeau’s cabinet is currently considering whether to ship small arms like firearms and ammunition to Ukraine during the cabinet’s three-day retreat.


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Crisis in Ukraine: Trudeau says he’s ‘sure’ there will be more announcements to come on additional support


Crisis in Ukraine: Trudeau says he’s ‘sure’ there will be more announcements to come on additional support

Sources said the government was seeking to take a firm and clear stance in favor of Ukraine, while limiting the potential to inflame already high tensions with Russia as that country continues to amass troops on the Ukrainian border. .

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Trudeau is expected to make an announcement after the cabinet retreat ends on Wednesday.

Canada’s support for Ukraine has also been publicly criticized. Last week, the Russian Embassy in Canada falsely accused Joly of spreading false information about the ongoing conflict on Ukraine’s eastern front between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists.

Moscow has long denied supporting the separatists, instead accusing Kiev of waging war on its own citizens. The years of conflict were sparked after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.


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US puts troops on high alert as tensions over Ukraine mount


US puts troops on high alert as tensions over Ukraine mount

In recent weeks, Russia has positioned around 100,000 troops across Ukraine’s borders, along with tanks and other heavy artillery, stoking fears across Europe of an impending invasion. .

Tensions escalated on Monday as the United States placed 8,500 troops on heightened alert in Europe.

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At the same time, NATO, in an attempt to show increased solidarity, also announced a series of deployments of ships, fighter jets and “enhanced deterrence and defense” troops.

Denmark was sending a frigate to the Baltic Sea and four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania. Spain was sending ships and was considering sending fighter planes to Bulgaria. France said it was ready to send troops to Romania under NATO command. The Netherlands planned to send a pair of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Bulgaria. The United States has said it is considering increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe.

NATO has not taken the decision to activate its so-called Response Force, which consists of around 40,000 soldiers from several countries.

With files from Amanda Connolly of Global, Mercedes Stephenson, Alex Boutillier and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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