Saskatchewan

P.M.'s trip to Ukraine includes Saskatchewan advisor

A trip to Ukraine, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will include Gerald Luciuk who is chair of the Saskatchewan Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee.

Trip will touch on economic opportunities and assess current situation in Ukraine

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a giant touch tablet before he delivers remarks at the Canada-Ukraine Business Forum in Toronto on Monday, June 20, 2016. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

A trip to Ukraine, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will include Gerald Luciuk who is chair of the Saskatchewan Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee.

"This is certainly an opportune time," Luciuk said Friday prior to leaving. "It will give me an opportunity to have a complete assessment of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, as well as the viewpoint of the ambassador to Canada."

Luciuk said he will share what he learns with provincial officials upon his return.

"To provide a snapshot of just where the situation is, at the present moment," he said.

Luciuk explained that the advisory committee touches on a number of areas concerning relations with Ukraine and Saskatchewan.

"It ranges right from academic relations, in advanced education and technical training, through to economic and commercial relations, as well as humanitarian assistance," Luciuk said. "Assisting them in their current situation in terms of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine."

Luciuk noted recent events involving Russia have had a deep impact on Ukraine and he highlighted actions involving Crimea as well as ongoing conflict.

At the same time, the country is seeking to strengthen ties with Europe.

"Obviously Ukraine is moving into an association with the European Union," he said. "They're undergoing a process of reform."

He said he was last in Ukraine about a year ago and he was looking forward to seeing what progress had been made on initiatives that were underway at the time.

"[The return visit] will give us a sense of where progress has been made in terms of the reform in the Ukrainian government and how the various initiatives might assist that continuing process," he said, adding it could assist Ukraine to "normalize" its situation.

Luciuk said people in Saskatchewan have done a lot to help Ukraine, especially with humanitarian assistance and fostering academic ties with universities and promoting economic opportunities.

With files from CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition

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