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Ukrainian servicemen ride on Dutch YPR-765 armoured personnel carrier on a road near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on April 6.GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine’s Prime Minister is planning to come to Canada to seek ammunition and heavily armoured vehicles as Kyiv prepares for a spring-summer counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Denys Shmyhal said in an interview that the Ukrainian government would also like the Canadian government to offer war risk insurance to Canadian companies investing in Ukraine as part of an effort to support rebuilding and foreign investment there.

The Canadian government’s 2023 budget, unveiled in March, offered a new $2.4-billion loan for Ukraine but little in the way of additional military aid. In the past 12 months, however, Ottawa has provided more than $1-billion in military gear to Kyiv.

Mr. Shmyhal is visiting Canada in the coming weeks but for security reasons the Ukrainian government is not divulging the date of the trip.

He said he’s not concerned about the lack of new military aid allocated for Ukraine in the federal budget and remains hopeful that Canada will provide more military aid anyway, among other forms of assistance.

“Now, we need heavy armoured vehicles. And we need more artillery shells: ammunition for howitzers and ammunition for tanks,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“It’s crucially important for the organization of our counteroffensive.”

Ukraine is planning a spring-summer counteroffensive, equipped with weapons from dozens of foreign countries, that it hopes will demonstrate it can continue taking back territory from Russian invaders.

Ukraine beat back Russian forces from Kyiv last year before liberating swaths of the northeast and of the southern Kherson region. But Russian forces still occupy tracts of the east, the strategically important south and the Crimean peninsula.

Mr. Shmyhal said Ukraine needs countries such as Canada to help pave the way for more foreign investment – and that includes special insurance to reduce the financial risk of operating in a war zone.

“We will need additional support in war risk insurance because no investors will come to Ukraine if the governments of our partners will not support, and will not insure [against] war risks in Ukraine.”

He said he will be talking to Canada about what Ottawa might do.

“So if a Canadian company will decide to invest money into Ukraine, we will ask the Canadian government to create some mechanism to support Canadian investments.”

The Ukrainian Prime Minister praised Canada’s assistance since Russia launched its full-scale military assaults on Ukraine last February. “We have perfect relations between Ukraine and Canada,” he said and thanked Ottawa for the more than $5.4-billion in aid it has received from the Canadian government since the conflict began.

Mr. Shmyhal said his visit will include signing co-operation agreements with a Canadian company in the nuclear industry – he did not provide more details – and noted that Kyiv has already signed deals with foreign firms including some from Canada.

He said Ukraine is seeking Canada’s support for the Kyiv Security Compact – a proposal for security guarantees from allies drafted by a group including former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula. Mr. Zelensky’s plan includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from all of Ukraine, a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes and measures to guarantee nuclear safety.

Mr. Shmyhal sought to assure Canadians that Ukraine has made important strides in combatting corruption, as it undertakes reforms required of countries seeking to join the European Union – and as it seeks to assure foreign allies that their donations are being used properly. In January, the Ukrainian government fired a number of senior officials in a major political shake-up.

The country ranked 116th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, the result of weak state institutions that came under the control of well-connected people after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the latest ranking announced in 2023 said Ukraine had gained one point to improve its score to 33 points.

“I hope that for Canadian officials and Canadian people, it also will be important that despite the war, Ukraine has a great will to realize all the reforms and to be a European, civilized country with all European standards, rules and most importantly values,” Mr. Shmyhal said, adding, “We wouldn’t like to be part of the [former] Soviet Union or the Russian Empire.”

Ukraine will require an estimated US$411-billion for reconstruction and recovery in a recent joint assessment released by the Government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group and the European Commission.

Mr. Shmyhal said Ukraine is keen on developing its agricultural processing, energy and high-tech military goods sectors after the war and he said it hopes for “special attention” from Canadian companies.

With a report from Reuters

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