Canada will open four new embassies, announces Mélanie Joly
Laura Osman, The Canadian Press
MADRID — Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced Wednesday that Canada will open four new embassies — in Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Armenia — in addition to strengthening its presence in Latvia, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The minister made the announcement at the NATO summit in Spain, where Canada is facing pressure to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP, a goal all members agreed to in 2014.
Ms. Joly explained that Canada must fend off Russian influence, including its “power to soft”, disinformation campaigns and brute force. She argued that diplomacy was one of the most effective ways to respond to these challenges.
Minister Joly also responded to remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said Wednesday that he expects Canada to honor its commitment to other members and increase defense spending to meet needs of an increasingly dangerous world.
Ms. Joly told reporters that Canadians can be proud of the country’s work in NATO and in the wider Ukraine conflict, including training 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers and commanding a battle group of the NATO in Latvia.