Ukraine’s Zelenskiy to visit Canada, address parliament

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will visit Canada to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and address the Canadian parliament in Ottawa, Trudeau’s office said in a statement late on Thursday, after Zelenskiy’s U.S. visit wrapped up.

“The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will visit Canada, from September 21 to 22, 2023,” Trudeau’s office said.

Zelenskiy was in Washington on Thursday where he met U.S. lawmakers and President Joe Biden, a day after addressing the U.N. Security Council in-person for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

While in Canada, Zelenskiy will also visit Toronto to meet with Canadian business leaders to strengthen private-sector investment in Ukraine’s future, the Canadian prime minister’s office said.

“Canada remains unwavering in our support to the people of Ukraine as they fight for their sovereignty and their democracy, as well as our shared values like respect for the rule of law, freedom, and self-determination,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“I look forward to welcoming President Zelenskiy to Canada,” the Canadian prime minister said.

In June, Trudeau made an unannounced trip to war-time Kyiv, where he paid his respects at a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers killed fighting pro-Russian forces since 2014, met Zelenskiy and addressed Ukraine’s parliament.

NATO member Canada, which has one of the world’s largest Ukrainian diasporas, has supplied military and financial assistance to Kyiv since Russia invaded in February 2022. It has also joined other Western allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

“Since the start of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, Canada has welcomed more than 175,000 Ukrainians,” Trudeau’s office said on Thursday.

Zelenskiy’s U.S. and Canada visits come as Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive has hit stubborn Russian defenses, and colder, wetter weather will soon make many rural roads impassable for heavy vehicles.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)