Britain to step up training for Ukrainian armed forces

London, June 25 (IANS) Britain will step up its program of training for the Ukrainian armed forces, the British ministry of defence (MoD) has said.

The move is to build on an existing program of medical, infantry, logistics and tactical intelligence training which has been offered to 650 Ukrainians since March and around 250 personnel will be trained in August alone in additional infantry, medical, and survival skills, the MoD said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

A Britain-led NATO Trust Fund, co-chaired with Germany and Canada, will provide around 200 secure communication devices to the Ukrainian Armed Forces “to improve their situational awareness and reduce casualties,” the ministry confirmed.

The Trust Fund will also provide finance for a Regional Airspace Security Program (RASP) designed to enable Ukraine to share air traffic information with its neighbours.

This latest package of support came days after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon revealed plans for Britain to send 1,000 troops to NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) every year into the next decade, the statement added.

Fallon also confirmed Royal Air Force Typhoon jets’ participation in the Baltic Air Policing next year for the third year running.

“Alongside our new commitment to provide troops to the NATO’s new rapid reaction force and our decision to extend our contribution of British Typhoons to protect Baltic airspace, it shows that Britain stands at the heart of NATO and continues to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” he added.

The US and the European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia due to its takeover of Crimea and alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, throwing Moscow’s ties with the West to the lowest level since the end of the Cold War.

Russia denied the allegations and has introduced a string of anti-sanction measures against western pressure.

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