02/02/2015 09:15 EST | Updated 04/04/2015 05:59 EDT

Canada joining group to better assist Ukraine's armed forces, Nicholson says

OTTAWA - Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says Canada is joining the US-Ukraine Joint Commission on Defence Reform and Bilateral Co-operation.

In a statement Monday night, Nicholson said the move will help to better co-ordinate Canada's ongoing provision of assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

He says the joint commission is the most effective and efficient venue for Canada to ensure donations and training provided to Ukraine are appropriate and synchronized with the United States.

Nicholson says the joint commission has asked Canada to lead the Military Police Sub-committee and to co-ordinate training assistance efforts to Ukraine's military police.

The main role of the Military Police Subcommittee is to co-ordinate the activities of participating nations to train and develop military police in Ukraine.

Canada has made extensive donations to the Ukrainian military since August 2014, including a range of targeted protection, medical and non-lethal military gear.