Trudeau to attend NATO meeting later this month; Anand heads to Brussels

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to fly to Brussels later this month to attend a NATO meeting about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The meeting is set to take place in Belgium’s capital on March 24.

In a statement through his press secretary, U.S. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he will also attend the NATO meeting in Belgium “to discuss ongoing deterrence and defence efforts in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”

Russia’s escalating violence in Ukraine has triggered many international meetings. Defence Minister Anita Anand is set to attend what her office called an “extraordinary” meeting of NATO’s defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday.

In an address to Canada’s House of Commons on Tuesday via video link, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky made direct pleas for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over his country.

“Can you imagine when you call your friends, your friendly nations and you ask: ‘Please close the sky. Close the airspace. Please stop the bombing. How many more cruise missiles have to fall on our cities until you make this happen?’ And they in return express their deep concerns about the situation,” Zelensky said in Ukrainian.

A no-fly zone over Ukraine is widely considered unlikely to happen, as NATO would have to deploy fighter planes, refuelling tankers and electronic-surveillance aircraft to support the no-fly zone. Such a mission would put NATO pilots in a position to shoot down Russian aircraft flying over Ukraine, which could trigger an international war and the possibility of a nuclear fallout.

With files from Joyce Napier and The Associated Press. 

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