KYIV, Ukraine (Transatlantic Today) – During an unexpected visit to Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Russian President Putin of “war crimes,” while also promising more firearms for Kyiv and fresh sanctions against Russia.
“It is clear that Vladimir Putin is responsible for heinous war crimes,”Trudeau said during a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Sunday.
He went on to say that there must be responsibility, and that he had firsthand knowledge of Russia’s illegal war.
On Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7), of which Canada is a part, imposed a fresh round of sanctions and committed to reduce its reliance on Russian resources, particularly oil imports.
According to Al Jazeera, Canada would also provide $25 million to the United Nations’ World Food Programme as part of an initiative to maintain food supply and waive trade duties on all Ukrainian imports to Canada for the coming year.
Trudeau paid a visit to Irpin, a village south of Kyiv that was the scene of severe fighting between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers before the Russians retreated in late March.
He said that Canada will reopen its embassy in Kyiv.
The visit occurred as US First Lady Jill Biden met with her Ukrainian counterpart, First Lady Olena Zelensky, for a surprise Mother’s Day visit to express US solidarity for the struggling country.
“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” the first lady of the United States told Zelensky as they spoke at a school in Kosice, Slovakia, that was temporarily housing Ukrainian migrants.
Biden spent nearly 2 hours in Ukraine, driving to Uzhhorod, which is about a ten-minute drive from the Slovakian border.
Biden became the most high-profile American to visit Ukraine during the conflict, while Zelensky made her first public appearance since Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24.
President Barack Obama paid a visit to Poland in March, but expressed disappointment that he was unable to cross the border into Ukraine to witness circumstances “first hand” owing to security concerns.
Last Monday, the White House stated that while the president “would love to visit,” there are currently no arrangements for him to do so.