NP-UN National Affairs Desk.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has welcomed the addition of Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL), which announced December 13 by the Government of Canada.
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated “I’m delighted to make this announcement today. The addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL reflects the close ties our countries share. Canada and Canadians will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
The UCC has advocated for the addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL since June 2015, when the Government of Canada launched public consultations on the issue.
“The addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL will provide Ukraine with the opportunity to access state-of-the-art Canadian-made equipment. These weapons will contribute to Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russia’s ongoing invasion,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC.
“The addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL is another important step in the strengthening of the defence, security and economic relationship between our two countries,” he added.
“Foreign Minister Freeland’s announcement reflects the close ties and special relationship between Canada and Ukraine. Canada continues to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine during this time of continuing military aggression by the Putin regime. Canadian armed forces personnel will not only continue to train and help to further professionalize the armed forces of Ukraine, but now these brave Ukrainian soldiers heading to the hot conflict on Ukraine’s eastern front will have the opportunity to be properly equipped,” stated Etobicoke Centre Mp Borys Wrzesnewskyj.
The announcement follows on the heels of a series of military cooperation initiatives and agreements that include: the extension and broadening of Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine (Operation Unifier), without geographic limitations, for another 2 years; the signing of the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement; and, Canada’s co-founding of the Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board and the placement of Jill Sinclair, a former Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence, on this body to help Ukraine become NATO compliant by 2020.
“Today Ukriane’s front line soldiers are not only fighting for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but are a shield for NATO and the countries of the liberal democratic West. In militarily standing steadfast with Ukraine, we are clearly signaling President Putin that there will be consequences for his undermining of the rules-based international order and the sanctity of borders,” added Wrzesnewskyj.
The addition of a country to the AFCCL allows exporters to apply for permits for the commercial export of prohibited firearms, weapons, and devices from Canada to that country. The export of such items must be authorized in advance by an export permit issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
On November 23, 2017, the Government of Canada concluded the regulatory process to amend the AFCCL to expand the AFCCL to include Ukraine. This brought the number of countries on the AFCCL to 40.
Inclusion in the AFCCL does not guarantee that exports of prohibited firearms, weapons and devices to a country will be approved. An export permit issued by Global Affairs Canada must also be obtained in order to lawfully export these items from Canada. All applications to export controlled items are rigorously evaluated on a case-by-case basis and exportation of these items is limited.