Canada to buy US-built surface-to-air missiles for Ukraine

TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (MNA) – Canada will buy a US-made National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) for Ukraine, a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office said after a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Mexico City.

Trudeau and Biden are being hosted by Mexico for a North American leaders' meeting and Trudeau told Biden about the purchase during separate discussions the two had on supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, Reuters reported. 

"This is the first Canadian donation of an air defense system to Ukraine," Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Twitter after the announcement.

Air defense systems are Ukraine's top priority, she told her Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, in a phone conversation held earlier on Tuesday.

The NASAMS is a short- to medium-range ground-based air defense system that protects against drone, missile, and aircraft attack, Anand said.

The donation has a value of about C$406 million ($302.6 million) and is in addition to the C$500 million Canada promised to Ukraine in November, according to a defense ministry statement. Since February, Canada has committed more than C$1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.

Trudeau and Biden also "discussed their shared commitment to the defense of North America, including Canada's acquisition of F-35 fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force," according to the statement from the prime minister's office.

Canada finalized a deal to buy 88 F-35 fighter jets from US defense company Lockheed Martin Corp on Monday in a C$19 billion project to replace its aging fleet of fighter aircraft.

SKH/PR

News Code 196029

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