Canada is contemplating beefing up its military role in Ukraine, amid disagreement over whether more NATO soldiers will dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from further action against his country’s neighbor.
According to two officials familiar with the discussions, Defence Minister Anita Anand is considering sending hundreds of extra troops to bolster the Canadian soldiers who are already in Ukraine on a training mission.
Moving a warship into the Black Sea or redeploying some of the CF-18 fighter fighters deployed in Romania are two more alternatives being considered.
Any reinforcement would be a message to Putin, who has sparked concern for the second time this year by deploying soldiers and equipment along his country’s borders with Ukraine.
Thousands of military weaponry, including tanks, armored personnel carriers, and multiple-launch rocket systems, are being deployed toward Ukraine from their normal locations in other areas of Russia, according to videos uploaded online.
There are now just under 100,000 Russian forces within a short drive of Ukraine – a nation Putin has never considered as completely autonomous, and one he is keen to keep out of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The current issue occurs while tensions remain high along the border between Belarus, a close Russian ally, and Poland, a NATO member. Poland recently sent 15,000 troops to its border after Belarusian tyrant Alexander Lukashenko welcomed thousands of would-be migrants from Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, then directed them west toward Poland and the EU, ostensibly to create a new migration crisis within the bloc.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned last week that the impasse at the Belarus-Poland border, as well as Russia’s buildup around Ukraine, were two fronts in Putin’s “hybrid war” against the West. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the refugee problem, claiming that NATO is inciting tensions by performing military drills in the Black Sea region on a regular basis.
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