Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he had a “substantive conversation” with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
The call between the two leaders—which took place while Trudeau is vacationing in Jamaica—was their first official meeting of the new year.
“We discussed strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities in the face of threats and risks of escalation at the front,” Zelenskyy tweeted, adding he “expressed gratitude” for Canada’s support of Ukraine.
According to a readout of the call released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two world leaders discussed the latest developments on the ground in Ukraine, including Russia’s ongoing strikes against essential infrastructure, with Canada reaffirming its support “to the government and people of Ukraine for as long as is necessary.”
Zelenskyy’s recounting of the call also noted that he and Trudeau agreed on steps for his “peace formula.” The prime minister’s statement said that he “expressed his hope that 2023 will bring a just and sustainable peace to the people of Ukraine,” and commended Zelenskyy’s peace initiative.
Trudeau mentioned Ukraine’s peace plan in his year-end interview with CTV National News Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina, which aired Dec. 31.
“It is something we are all working for, but it will not be on Russian terms,” Trudeau told Sachedina. “It will be on Ukrainian terms, because Russia made the terrible miscalculation of thinking they could invade a peaceful neighbour and get away with it.”
He added it’s “not just important for Ukraine, it’s important for the world” to stand up against Russia’s invasion.
The pair have agreed to remain “in close and regular contact,” according to the readout from Trudeau’s office.
With files from CTV News’ Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello
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