U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosted Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan for policy discussions at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 14.
“In addition to domestic priorities, we worked through a range of global issues as well. We talked about our work in collaboration as members of NATO. We discussed our response to the situation in Ukraine,” Pompeo said during the 2+2 Strategic Dialogue.
The Secretary of State expressed his concern over Russia’s recent aggression in the Sea of Azov, where it rammed and opened fire on Ukrainian vessels.
In turn, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that Canada was also concerned about the development of the situation.
"On Russia and Ukraine, Minister Sajjan and I expressed our condemnation of Russia’s harassment of shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, and in particular its recent aggressive action towards an illegal seizure of three Ukrainian vessels on November 25 and the imprisonment of Ukrainian sailors. We call on Russia to release these sailors," the Canadian foreign minister said.
Freeland stressed that Canada unwaveringly supported the people of Ukraine, its sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
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