Von der Leyen: “Canada, a trusted and dear friend”. Deal with EU on four points

OTTAWA – The arrival, the embrace with the prime minister and immediately a first tweet with the video of the meeting: “Dear @JustinTrudeau, thank you for your strong engagement and that of Canada, for Ukraine.  Together, we will keep supporting Ukraine for as long as needed.   Keep building bridges between our people and our economies. And keep strengthening our great transatlantic friendship“. 

The meeting between Justin Trudeau and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, therefore began today under the best auspices. A meeting aimed, as the EU president herself explained in a previous tweet, to discuss with Canada, “one of our most trusted partners – and a close friend”, about “how to take our excellent cooperation forward: support to Ukraine, raw materials, energy transition, climate action”.

And these were precisely the issues addressed during the subsequent summit between the two leaders.

Trudeau said Canada will extend the mission to provide engineering training in Ukraine until at least the fall, while Canadian medical instructors will be deployed to help Ukrainian forces with combat medical skills.

Ottawa also signed a new hydrogen deal with the European Union, which Trudeau says will mobilize investment, bolster businesses and deliver clean energy across the Atlantic.

Von der Leyen, in turn, said – in a joint press conference with Trudeau himself in Kingston – that Canada and Europe are side by side in supporting Ukraine, stressing that they are also making progress on an agreement on critical minerals signed in 2021 and, at the same time, looking towards a united “green alliance” that would focus on enhancing energy and climate cooperation (you can read the full joint statement of the two leaders by clicking here).

The two leaders then met with Canadian Armed Forces personnel who had deployed to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees, while in the afternoon they were both expected to attend an event regarding collaboration on critical minerals in the net-zero economy, with a visit to a clean technology company.

In the evening, von der Leyen was expected to speak in the House of Commons on Canada’s ties with Europe.

And tomorrow, the EU president is planning a meeting with the governor general of Canada, Mary Simon: two women leaders together, therefore, for a symbolic meeting that will fall precisely on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

In the pic above, the meeting between Justin Trudeau and Ursula von der Leyen, today, in a screenshot taken from the video published by the EU President herself on her Twitter page – @vonderleyen