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26 Feb, 2024 15:32

‘Russia must win this war’ – Canada’s Trudeau

The PM made a Freudian slip during a pro-Ukraine speech in Poland
‘Russia must win this war’ – Canada’s Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday urged NATO countries to raise their military spending and send more weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, but seemed to herald a Russian victory in the conflict in an apparent slip-up.

Trudeau spoke in Warsaw after meetings with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Andrzej Duda – both of whom are vocal supporters of Ukraine, but are political opponents at home. 

“We know that Russia must win this war – sorry, Ukraine must win this war against Russia,” Trudeau told reporters at a joint press conference with Tusk.

The Polish prime minister lamented that wealthy NATO countries in Europe “could not build altogether the defense capacities that would really exceed the Russian ones,” according to AP, urging the US-led bloc to do more. 

Canada itself has fallen short of NATO’s mandated military spending, pegged at 2% of GDP years ago. Trudeau has pledged that Ottawa will “step up.”  

The Canadian leader also urged Western countries to “lean in” and make sure they are dealing not just with daily challenges, but are “building peace, stability and prosperity for future generations as well.” 

“It is a time where citizens cannot take their democracies for granted,” Trudeau said, after agreeing with Tusk on the danger of leaders in Europe who “stand in the way” of a united front in support of Ukraine. 

Trudeau’s Freudian slip comes as multiple Western outlets have noted the significant deterioration of the Ukrainian position in the conflict, following the Russian victory in Avdeevka.  

US State Department spokesman Matt Miller made a similar lapse last July, when he described the conflict as “a strategic failure for Ukraine” during a press briefing – twice – before insisting that he really meant Russia. He blamed fatigue and a break from work for supposedly misspeaking.

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