26 Nov 2018

Maritime training deployments to strengthen UK-Ukraine defence relationship

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reaffirmed The UK and Ukraine will continue to strengthen their defence partnership in the face of intensifying threats and aggression.

In a meeting with the visiting Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak, Gavin Williamson announced a range of forthcoming deployments and exercises that will see the two countries’ Armed Forces continue to work together in defence of the international rules-based order.

Mr Williamson said: “As long as Ukraine faces Russian hostilities, it will find a steadfast partner in the United Kingdom. By continuing to work together, whether through training programmes or military exercises, we help Ukraine to stand up for our shared values.

“Those values of freedom and democracy cannot be traded. I have witnessed on the frontline the effects of the conflict in the East and this has completely reinforced my support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

The Defence Secretary announced at the meeting that HMS Echo would deploy to the Black Sea in 2019 to demonstrate the UK’s support to ensuring freedom of navigation in the region.

It was also confirmed that in January and February next year training teams – made up of personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Army – will deploy to Ukraine as part of the extension to the UK’s military training operation announced by Gavin Williamson on his visit to the country in September.

image © Crown Copyright

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