Joly will leave for Europe on Sunday and return to Canada on Saturday, January 22.
“The staggering number of Russian troops and equipment in and around Ukraine endangers security throughout the region,” Joly said in a statement.
“These aggressive actions must be deterred. Canada will work with its international partners to uphold the rules-based international order and preserve the human rights and dignity of Ukrainians.”
Poland warns Europe is at risk of war as Russia says talks with Ukraine have reached a dead end
In a statement to Global News, Global Affairs said Joly’s meetings will focus on “Russian aggression and ongoing destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine.”
Joly will reaffirm Canada’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the importance of “collective security” to defend that independence, the statement said.
Russia has amassed around 100,000 of its own troops on Ukraine’s border, with the prospect of an invasion pending.
Russia has demanded a guarantee from NATO that Ukraine will not join the alliance, a demand that the United States and NATO have rejected.
The talks between Russia and the US and NATO have taken place on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, but Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told RTVI television that there is a “dead end or difference in approach”. He sees no reason to restart the same discussions in the next few days.
US President Joe Biden has warned of “serious consequences” if Russia were to invade Ukraine.
Canada needs to play a role in global security: Joly
Canada currently has up to 915 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who could deploy “at any time” on a NATO mission as part of Operation REINSURANCE, which is Canada’s largest current international military operation.
“They are there as part of NATO security and deterrence measures,” according to the defense department. “These measures are aimed at strengthening NATO’s collective defense.”
In Europe, Joly will also meet with his counterparts in France and Belgium, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and some 200 Canadian soldiers currently training Ukrainian forces in the country as part of Operation UNIFIER to “thank them directly,” Global Affairs said.
Russia lays out pretext for invasion, says US
The White House said Friday that US intelligence has discovered that Russia has begun an effort to create a pretext to invade Ukraine.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said the findings show that Russia plans to frame Ukraine as an aggressor and has been running a disinformation campaign on social media to lay the groundwork.
Psaki said that Russian operatives can use explosives against their own delegated forces and blame Ukraine for the acts.
“We are concerned that the Russian government is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine that could result in widespread human rights violations and war crimes if diplomacy fails to achieve its goals,” Psaki said.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby described the intelligence as “very credible.”
The findings estimate that the military invasion could begin between mid-January and mid-February.
On Friday, Ukraine was hit by a massive cyberattack that they said affected around 70 government websites, with Russia suspected of the attack but not directly accused.
A message written on hacked government websites read in part: “All information about you has been made public, be afraid and expect the worst.
“This is for your past, present and future.”
— with Associated Press and Reuters archives
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