Canada has agreed to a free trade agreement with Ukraine.
The deal became official on Monday following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to Kyiv. Trudeau met with Ukranian president Petro Poroshenko ahead of the signing.
The deal follows years of negotiations that began when Stephen Harper was prime minister.
In a joint press conference in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised Canada for its support over the years.
Poroshenko thanked Canada for helping to crack down on corruption while also sending hundreds of military and police trainers. Poroshenko also used the opportunity to ask Canada to keep its 200 military trainers in the country past March 2017.
That’s when the current mission near the western city of Lviv is set to expire.
Trudeau said Canada will continue to stand with Ukraine but wouldn’t say specifically if Canada will keep supplying troops to train Ukraine’s military.
Instead, the prime minister said Canada would co-ordinate with its allies in supporting Ukraine.
Trudeau didn’t mention Russia by name, but he did reiterate Canada’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine two years ago, and has supported separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Before he met with Poroshenko, Trudeau and his oldest son, Xavier, paid tribute to the victims of mass atrocities in Ukraine, visiting several memorials dedicated to Ukrainians who were killed by the Nazis and Soviets.
On Sunday, Trudeau followed in the footsteps of former prime ministers Jean Chretien and Harper by visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the former Nazi death camp, in southwestern Poland.
Trudeau toured the death camp with Holocaust survivor Nate Leipciger.
Trudeau made a point of asking to visit Auschwitz following the NATO summit in Warsaw.
The prime minister returns to Canada on Tuesday.