UPDATED 2:12 PM PT – Saturday, August 27, 2022
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has further entangled his country’s relationship with NATO. On Friday, Trudeau and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrapped up their multi-day meeting where they discussed Arctic Security at a Royal Canadian Air Force base in Cold Lake, Alberta.
Wrapping up an excellent visit to #Canada, which makes key contributions to #NATO & to international security. Thank you for all you do, including strong support to #Ukraine, leading our multinational forces in Latvia, and increasing our awareness of evolving #Arctic challenges. pic.twitter.com/nBowP07FUk
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) August 26, 2022
“Today is an opportunity to further deepen the connection Canada has to NATO and continue the great work we’re doing, whether it’s in Ukraine or defending Canada’s… sort of NATO’s northern and western flank,” said Trudeau.
Both leaders said the renewed efforts to secure Canada’s northern region comes as enemies of the West, namely China and Russia, are looking to expand a military presence in the Arctic. NATO is reportedly growing its members in the Arctic region -with experts saying the acceptance of Finland and Sweden is near. Their acceptance would mean that Russia would be the only country in the region not a part of the Western Alliance.
“NATO is an Arctic alliance. Canada plays a very important part in that both with the radar sites, the NORAD the presence in the high north, but also, of course, with the advanced fighter jets, the air defense systems,” said Stoltenberg. “The… many advanced systems you have throughout Canada, which is, of course, important for the whole alliance.”
So far, Canada has contributed nearly $3.5 Billion to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia.
Our support for Ukraine remains steadfast – as does our commitment to holding the Russian regime accountable. At the Crimea Platform summit, I announced that we’re imposing more sanctions on Russia and providing more assistance to Ukraine. Get the details: https://t.co/poX2j318wv
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 23, 2022
Critics of the West’s measures believe that the conflict between those two countries was sparked from NATO forces creeping near Russia’s western border.
Meanwhile, reports say Stoltenberg could squeeze Canada for its mandated two-percent GDP contribution for NATO’s defense spending, a target Canada has a history of missing.