Arms sales to Ukraine a mys­tery

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OTTAWA — Six months af­ter the fed­eral gov­ern­ment opened the door to the ex­port of Cana­dian-made weapons to Ukraine, which is locked in a war with sep­a­ratist rebels, it re­mains a mys­tery as to whether any have ac­tu­ally arrived. Foreign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land an­nounced in De­cem­ber that the gov­ern­ment was adding Ukraine to the Au­to­matic Firearms Coun­try Con­trol List, which is a list of coun­tries el­i­gi­ble for arms ex­ports.

As a re­sult, Cana­dian com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als can now ap­ply to Free­land for per­mis­sion to ex­port pro­hib­ited weapons and other pre­vi­ously banned equip­ment to Ukraine.

But Global Af­fairs Canada has re­fused to say whether any re­quests for a per­mit to ex­port arms to Ukraine have been re­ceived, let alone ap­proved.

“Each per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion will be as­sessed on a case-by-case ba­sis to en­sure its con­sis­tency with Canada’s in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions and foreign pol­icy and defence pri­or­i­ties,’’ Global Af­fairs Canada spokesman John Bab­cock said in an email.

“For rea­sons of com­mer­cial con­fi­den­tial­ity, the depart­ment does not com­ment on any ap­pli­ca­tions for ex­port per­mits.’’

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