Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared to voice support for an ambitious peace initiative being pushed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a phone conversation on Tuesday held during the Canadian leader’s family vacation in Jamaica.
A readout of the call provided by the Prime Minister’s Office said the two leaders discussed Canada’s continued commitment to provide military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine as Russia’s invasion inches closer to the one-year mark.
It also mentioned Trudeau “reaffirmed Canada’s support” for Zelenskyy’s efforts to bring about “a just and sustainable peace” for his country, including his 10-point peace plan that has so far received a muted response from other Western allies, including U.S. President Joe Biden.
On Twitter, Zelenskyy said his call with Trudeau was a “substantive conversation” that included commitments to both strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities and agreements on “steps to implement the Peace Formula,” his name for the initiative.
He mentioned on Facebook and Telegram that the conversation was his fourth with international leaders Tuesday. The post went on to stress the importance of continuing to defend Ukraine from continued Russian attacks and a potential new offensive attempt.
“We have no doubt that the current masters of Russia will throw everything they have left and everyone they can muster to try to turn the tide of the war and at least postpone their defeat,” he wrote.
“We have to disrupt this Russian scenario.”
Trudeau held the call during the final days of a week-long vacation with his immediate family in Jamaica, which began on Boxing Day. The PMO had said he would remain in constant contact with Ottawa during the trip.
Zelenskyy’s 10-point peace plan not only calls for an end to the war — including the full withdrawal of Russian troops and restoration of pre-invasion Ukrainian borders — but also restoration of food security, safety around Ukrainian nuclear plants, and repairing Ukrainian power infrastructure.
Additionally, the plan includes the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, price restrictions on Russian energy resources, and assurances that future invasions or conflicts will not occur.
Zelenskyy first announced his formula at a November summit of the Group of 20 major economies but has stepped up his promotion in recent weeks.
He mentioned the plan both during his in-person meeting with Biden in Washington last month and his speech to a joint session of Congress the same day.
The Ukrainian president urged the Group of Seven leaders in December to hold a Global Peace Summit this winter to focus on supporting and implementing the plan, either as a whole or “some specific points in particular.”
Russia rejected Zelenskyy’s peace proposal last month, and Moscow reiterated that it would not give up any territory it has taken by force that it says it has annexed — including the four eastern provinces that make up roughly one-fifth of Ukraine.
Biden said in public remarks during the Washington summit that he and Zelenskyy “share the exact same vision” for peace and that the United States is committed to ensuring that Ukraine can defend itself. But he did not specifically mention the Peace Formula.
The G7 leaders said they were committed to bringing peace to Ukraine “in line with its rights enshrined in the UN Charter.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that chances for peace talks being held any time soon are small.
“I do believe that the military confrontation will go on, and I think we’ll have still to wait for a moment in which serious negotiations for peace will be possible,” he said in late December.
The new year began with Russia continuing to attack Ukrainian power infrastructure, a tactic that has left millions in Ukraine without electricity, heat and even running water.
— with files from Reuters
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