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UK military assistance to Ukraine is longstanding. However, in response to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine that assistance was stepped up in March 2015 with the provision of non-lethal equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces and the deployment of a 75-strong UK military training team to the country.

The decision to deploy a team of military advisers to Ukraine has been interpreted by some as the UK government putting ‘boots on the ground’, in breach of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. However, these personnel are not combat troops, they are not deployed in Eastern Ukraine and they are being provided in response to a request from the Ukrainian government.

To date, the Government has ruled out providing lethal arms to Ukraine. Other European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, have openly opposed arming Ukraine. In contrast the US administration remains open to the possibility of providing Ukraine with lethal weapons if “diplomacy fails to end the crisis”.


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