(breitbart) – The Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to spend over $400 million on an air defence system for Ukraine that the Canadian army has begged for since 2012.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party government is looking to spend over $400 million to purchase a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), according to an announcement made on Tuesday by Defence Minister Anita Anand.
The new defence system, which is a medium-range ground-based air defence system, will be purchased from the United States and given to the Ukrainian armed forces for their ongoing conflict with Russia, the National Post newspaper reports.
“We have committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, and today we are moving forward with the first Canadian donation of an air defence system to Ukraine. Canada will continue to collaborate with the United States, as well as other Allies and partners, to address Ukraine’s defence priorities in the short and long term — including with high-capability equipment such as the NASAMS,” the defence minister said.
The Canadian armed forces, meanwhile, have been calling on the federal government to procure similar air defence for Canada since 2012, when its previous system was retired.
The Trudeau government previously announced in 2018 that it would procure an air defence system for Canada but it is yet to do so.
When questioned on how the government was able to raise cash to pay for Ukraine’s air defence when Canada lacked a similar system of its own, the defence ministry claimed that it was continuing “to work towards the procurement of Ground-Based Air Defence Equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces — and Minister Anand is committed to getting this done, as outlined in our defence policy.”
Canada has been one of the fiercest supporters of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and announced $375.7 million in military assistance for the country as recently as last November.
The move to supply Ukraine with air defence comes as other Western nations are also stepping up on arms supplies to Ukraine, including France, which prompted a new furry of weapons shipments when it promised to supply Ukraine with French-made AMX-10 RC “light tanks” last week.