UK ‘in talks to supply weapons to Ukraine’ amid Russia fears

The UK is in talks to sell weapons to Ukraine for the first time amid fears of a growing threat from Russia, it was claimed today.

Britain is considering providing surface-to-surface missiles for Ukrainian patrol boats and missiles for aircraft, according to The Times. 

The move would underline determination to support Ukraine as it faces continuing interference from Moscow – with concerns Vladimir Putin is trying to exploit the gas crisis to get more influence in the region.

Meanwhile, NATO defence ministers are set to agree a new master plan to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts. 

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

The West is trying to stress its determination to support Ukraine as it faces continuing interference from Moscow – with concerns Vladimir Putin (left) is trying to exploit the gas crisis to get more influence in the region. Pictured right, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

The Ministry of Defence is reportedly discussing supplying surface-to-surface Brimstone missiles that can be used by sea and air forces to hit ‘swarms’ of targets simultaneously.

The RAF has deployed Brimstones against ISIS because they can hit small, fast-moving enemies.

The new NATO strategy aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions that could include nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks and assaults from space.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘It recognises a more 21st century threat and how to deal with it.’

Officials stress that they do not believe any Russian attack is imminent, while Moscow denies any aggressive intentions and has warned NATO risks destabilising Europe. 

But diplomats say the ‘Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area’ – and its strategic implementation plan – is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to borders.

In May, Russia was accused of amassing some 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the highest number since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. 

Asked about the talks on supplying weapons, an MoD spokeswoman said: ‘The UK, alongside allies and partners, stand with Ukraine in opposing Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and threats to Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity.

‘We and partner nations already support Ukrainian military development as well as regularly exercising with their armed forces.’  

An activist burns a flare during a march of Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev earlier this month

An activist burns a flare during a march of Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev earlier this month

An activist burns a flare during a march of Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev earlier this month

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