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Canada spending $40M to help Czechs send ammunition to Ukraine front lines

OTTAWA — Canada is buying artillery ammunition and night vision equipment for Ukraine as part of its latest round of aid for the country. 

Defence Minister Bill Blair met with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which includes about 50 allied countries led by the United States. 

Canada plans to spend $40 million to send artillery ammunition to Ukraine as part of a deal with Czechia. 

The Czechs said last month they have 800,000 pieces of ammunition and needed other countries to chip in to help get it to the front lines.

Blair says night vision equipment worth $7.5 million is being sourced from a Canadian company to send to Ukrainian troops. 

Canada’s military support for Ukraine has reached $4 billion in the two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion. 

The ammunition from the Czechs includes 155 mm rounds that Ukraine desperately needs, which Blair said he wants to see more of produced in Canada. 

“The long-term vision is to actually significantly increase munitions production here in Canada, because I believe very much (that) production is deterrence,” he said.

Blair was not able to provide a timeline for when Canada’s donation of a surface-to-air missile defence system will arrive in Ukraine. 

That system was purchased through the U.S. government over a year ago but it is still not clear when it will be produced and sent to the front lines.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024. 

The Canadian Press

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