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Ukraine: Ministry of Defence Support

Volume 602: debated on Thursday 19 November 2015

I have today laid before Parliament a Ministry of Defence departmental minute concerning a further gifting package which the UK intends to make to the Government of Ukraine.

Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its destabilising activities in eastern Ukraine, including direct military support to the separatists, has demonstrated its disregard for international law. Since fighting began, nearly 8,000 people have been killed and approximately 18,000 injured. Around 1.4 million people have been displaced in Ukraine.

The latest ceasefire agreement, reached on 29 August, has seen a reduction in violence in the conflict zone. However, until there is a political settlement to the conflict the Ukrainian armed forces (UAF) have to remain deployed forward and continue to suffer fatalities and casualties. As a result of the prolonged engagement in this conflict, the UAF face a chronic shortage of basic equipment, and have requested help.

This Government are committed to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Our proposed gift of non-lethal equipment is designed to prevent further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties and to help improve resilience on the ground.

The gifting package consists of 170 large tents with ancillary equipment to mitigate winter conditions and 600 sets of cold weather clothing. Subject to completion of the departmental minute process, delivery is expected to be undertaken over the coming weeks. The total cost of this proposed package of equipment is approximately £971,000, including transportation costs and contingency.