Thanks very much, Chair.
Ambassador Shevchenko, Colonel Siromakha and Mr. Liashenko, thank you for being here.
I want to thank the members and the chairs of both the foreign affairs committee and the committee on national defence for organizing this meeting today. I think this is incredibly productive, useful and important.
As chair of the Canada-Ukraine parliamentary friendship group, I see a lot of members of the friendship group and its executive here today. This is an all-party committee of MPs, from all four parties in the House of Commons, who support Ukraine and want to find ways for Canada and Ukraine to work more closely together. I'm proud to see so many of them here today, and I thank them all for their engagement, as well as the other MPs who aren't here today. Thank you for that.
Ambassador, I have had the privilege of travelling to Ukraine on a number of occasions. One of the most memorable moments was as an election observer in the last presidential election. I was posted to eastern Ukraine, in fact to Mariupol, and to election districts along the contact line, where the conflict is taking place. I had an opportunity to meet villagers in election polling stations in that region.
The people I met didn't know I was involved in politics, or in government at all, but many of them, when they found out I was Canadian—because they saw a badge on my chest that had a maple leaf on it—would come up to me and say thank you for all that Canada is doing.
I share this story with you to say two things. One is, many times we hear from the Russian government, and from other propaganda sources, that people in eastern Ukraine want to be part of Russia. Having met those people in eastern Ukraine, I know that nothing is further from the truth. I also share this because I think it's a sign to all of us who are members of Parliament here today that the impact Canada is having is profound and that we need to continue our work.
Ambassador, my first question is for you.
You spoke about NATO integration and the importance of NATO integration for Ukraine. What measures can Canada take to help Ukraine realize its ambition to join NATO?