The leaders of Canada and the European Union reiterated on Friday strong support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, while pledging to deepen coordination on climate efforts.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel at a summit in Canada's easternmost city, St. John's.
"We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes," the two sides said in a statement, pledging to "work to address Ukraine's immediate military and defence needs and ensure Ukraine has the long-term security commitments needed."
Trudeau announced that Canada would donate 11,000 assault rifles to Ukraine along with nine million rounds of ammunition.
Since the conflict with Russia began in February 2022, Canada has pledged C$2.4 billion (HK$13.7 billion) in military aid to Ukraine.
Michel also said that the EU was "ready to do more in the weeks to come."
The announcements come as the United States, Ukraine's biggest military backer by far, has been unable to pass additional funding through Congress amid political deadlock.
Von der Leyen praised Canada as having backed Ukraine even before the war.
She cited Canadian programs to train the military in pro-Western Ukraine and said this had been key in fighting the war.
Von der Leyen said the EU has now trained 30,000 Ukrainian troops out of its goal of 40,000, and that the bloc will soon disclose what it plans to do with Russian assets it has seized.
The European leaders also expressed interest in Canada's rich mineral resources, especially those used in electric vehicle batteries, with Von der Leyen inviting Canada to join a "critical raw material club" the EU plans to launch at next week's COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates.
The former German defence minister described Canada as "the only country in the Western Hemisphere with all the raw materials required for lithium batteries." (AFP)