Canada to send military instructors to Ukraine, but not lethal weapons

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the country soon will send military instructors to Ukraine to help train government troops.

While in Kiev en route to the Group of Seven summit, Harper said the instructors would work in western Ukraine.

That is far away from where Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels have been fighting since April 2014. But the move is likely to bring criticism from Russia and the rebels, as did similar training by U.S. forces.

At a joint news conference Saturday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the countries would widen military cooperation, but that Canada won't supply lethal weapons.

Poroshenko also said Ukraine hasn't asked Western countries to base missiles in Ukraine to defend against Russia. National security council head Oleksandr Turchynov floated that proposal last month.