Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Mission uncertain: Canadian planes leave for Eastern Europe to assist NATO

Published time: April 30, 2014 13:10
Edited time: May 02, 2014 12:17
Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter jets (Reuters/Cpl Pierre Habib/Canadian Armed Forces)

Canadian Forces CF-18 fighter jets (Reuters/Cpl Pierre Habib/Canadian Armed Forces)

Six CF-18s and hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel left for Romania to help NATO forces in Eastern Europe amid uncertainty over the scope of the mission.

It is the biggest deployment of military aircraft to Romania from another NATO member since the Ukraine crisis broke out.

"There is a lot of uncertainty about what we're going to be doing over there," Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin said at a press conference with Defense Minister Rob Nicholson in Bagotville, where the CF-18 Hornets are based.

Blondin mentioned that the troops were going to perhaps participate in routine training exercises – but he is still not sure what the mission will involve.

"We're not sure how long we're going to be staying, but we'll be staying until the government tells us it's time to come back," Blondin said.

Six fighters have set off, accompanied by a C-17 cargo plane carrying spare parts, tools and mechanical equipment.

The fighters first headed to Iceland before receiving further direction from Department of National Defense's Central Command on where they will be stationed in Romania, which borders Ukraine.

All in all, up to 250 Canadian military personnel are set to be deployed for the NATO mission.

Almost two weeks ago, it was announced that 6 RCAF CF-18 fighter jets would join the NATO mission in response to the Ukraine crisis.

"We are sending out a message to Russia and we are reassuring our allies that we are taking steps and making a point consistent with what NATO has been saying, the actions so far are unacceptable by Russia and we are sending out a very clear message," Defense Minister Rob Nicholson told CBC News.

Just a couple of days ago, UK and France deployed eight fighter jets to Lithuania and Poland to strengthen NATO air defenses.

Polish and British air force contingents began patrolling the space over the Baltic States on Wednesday. The patrol is set to last for four months, reports ITAR-TASS. The contingent has around 100 military men, including technicians, doctors, support group, communications and other specialists.

It followed hot war rhetoric a week ago by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation, the international community – all of us – will welcome it. If Russia does not, the world will make sure that the cost for Russia will only grow. And as President Obama reiterated earlier today, we are ready to act," Kerry said.

On Monday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu called on his Pentagon counterpart Chuck Hagel to help cool the rhetoric over Ukraine.

“The Russian minister assessed the growth of the US and NATO forces’ activities in Eastern Europe as unprecedented. He also underlined the fact that those actions are accompanied by provocative statements by NATO’s Secretary General about the need to withhold Russia,” the statement from the Defense Ministry said.

Comments (409)

 

Armando Rivera-Carretero 14.05.2014 20:15

I have a high opinion of Canadians. For years I lived next to the border and visited Canada ofter. I developed a liking for Canadians. But just as in the US, the government does not act according to the population's ethos. The government's actions just prove the point and demonstrate that Canada is just a satellite of the US. Wake up Canadians! Do not participate in the US imperial adventures! The US needs more of you that you of the US! Do not act like a Banana Republic! Even Latin America is turning its back on US hegemony in the hemisphere! Get a spine!

 

alfred 03.05.2014 10:27

I wonder why Canada sent jet fighters to help NATO. What if CHINA AND IRAN send their powers to to help RUSSIA, what do USand EU call that? NATO is not the one on crisis, ITS EUkraine... Building up forces on the boarder is direct provocation. POOR USA POOR NATO, you are being used for the benefits of FEW> im no PRO Russia, nor Uekraine or whatever country but on this thing being happen today, its easy to understand that if they cant stop provoking other countries, then and only then it will spark ww3.

 

Scott Ritchie 03.05.2014 02:23

Soon I will be embarrassed to show my Canadian passport while travelling.

View all comments (409)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us