Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Canada for Canadian support during his first visit to Canada since Russia’s war of aggression against his country. “Canada’s support of Ukraine with weapons and equipment has enabled us to save thousands of lives,” Zelensky said in a speech to parliament in the Canadian capital Ottawa. He was greeted with great applause and cheers.

“Russian aggression must end with our victory,” said Zelensky, who was accompanied by his wife Olena Zelenska. “So that Russia can never again bring genocide to Ukraine and never tries to do so again. Moscow must lose once and for all.”

Zelenskyj had previously been received at Parliament by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There was then an exchange between the two, which was also attended by members of the Canadian government. After his speech in parliament, Zelensky wanted to travel to Toronto and meet with business representatives and members of the Ukrainian community in Canada.

Gratitude in the foreground – less demanding

This is Zelenskyj’s first visit to Canada since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 – and the third stop on a North American trip. Zelenskyj arrived in New York on Monday for the UN General Assembly and visited Washington on Thursday, where he was received by US President Joe Biden at the White House, among others. The additional stop in Canada was unexpectedly announced that night.

Part of his mission at previous stops was to convince war-weary skeptics of his course and to explain why talks with Moscow are unthinkable for him at this point. Zelensky appeared less demanding than on previous occasions and emphasized his gratitude for the allies’ achievements.

Canada is considered an important supporter of Ukraine and says it has provided the country with more than 8.9 billion Canadian dollars (6.2 billion euros) since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression.