Canada's defense minister leaves door open to Ukraine troop deployment under certain conditions
Bill Blair (Photo: EPA/TOMS KALNINS)

Canada is open to sending troops to Ukraine, but not to participating in hostilities, Defense Minister Bill Blair said in an interview with the Toronto Star.

"I do not want to put Canadian Armed Forces personnel anywhere near a combat theatre that could create the perception that we are taking on any component of a combat role," he said.

The Canadian military could assist in the training of Ukrainian soldiers and act in a non-combat role against Russia far from the front, noted the Canadian defense chief.

At the same time, on Wednesday, Canada's Defense Ministry categorically refused to send troops to Ukraine.

"We will continue to provide Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance, but as a NATO member, Canada has no plans to deploy combat troops to Ukraine," the department's spokesperson Diana Ebadi said at the time.

The Czech Republic and Poland are not considering the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine, Prime Ministers Petr Fiala and Donald Tusk announced on Tuesday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman said that their countries would not send troops to Ukraine either.

Subsequently, Spain and Italy disagreed with France's proposal to send European ground troops to Ukraine. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in particular, considers this proposal to be "Macron's idea".