Harper to kick off Europe trip in Ukraine, before G7 summit in Germany

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he will make a return visit to Ukraine later this week as part of a week-long trip to Europe that will also take him to the G7 leaders’ summit in Germany.

Harper travelled to Ukraine one year ago this week and affirmed Canada’s unwavering support for the country at that time, meeting with Petro Poroshenko on the day he formally took the oath of office as president.

Simmering unrest continues despite the September cease-fire between Ukraine forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

At least two civilians and three Ukrainian troops were reported to have been killed in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

A new report released Monday by the United Nations says that 6,400 people have now been killed in more than a year of fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The prime minister announced the trip as he welcomed Marko Shevchenko, the Ukraine charge d’affairs to Canada, to his Langevin Block office for an afternoon meeting.

The Canadian Press