James Heappey (left) with Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (right) Salisbury Plain TrainingArea discuss Ukraine aid 07042022 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright 2022.jpg
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey MP (left) was joined by Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (right) to discuss future Ukraine aid (Picture: MOD).
Ukraine

Focus on targeted military aid as UK defence ministers host Ukrainian government

A Ukrainian government delegation visited the Salisbury Plain Training Area on behalf of Ukraine's president.

James Heappey (left) with Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (right) Salisbury Plain TrainingArea discuss Ukraine aid 07042022 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright 2022.jpg
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey MP (left) was joined by Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (right) to discuss future Ukraine aid (Picture: MOD).

UK defence ministers hosted a Ukrainian government delegation to discuss their equipment requirements and options for further military support – as they continue their defence against Russia's invasion.

Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and Armed Forces Minister James Heappey were joined by Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov and senior Ukrainian military officers at the Salisbury Plain Training Area.

The Ukrainian delegation, who visited the UK on behalf of President Volodymyr Zelensky, provided an update on their defensive operations.

The UK ministers held talks with their Ukrainian counterparts to understand the challenges they are facing on the ground to ensure military aid is targeted and able to integrate into existing systems.

Mr Heappey said: "Ukraine's Armed Forces continue to put up a tenacious fight against the illegal and unprovoked invasion by Putin's forces.

"We're proud that they're doing so with weapons provided by and through the United Kingdom.

"But the Ukrainian job is far from done and the Prime Minister has directed that the UK provides even more in support of this next phase of the conflict."

Watch: How UK weapons helped Ukrainian troops ambush Russian forces in Bucha.

During the visit, the British Army's 3rd Division and Royal Marines demonstrated a range of equipment and options for further military support, including defensive missile systems and protected mobility vehicles.

The Ukrainian delegation observed the STARStreak air defence system, which the UK has already provided and trained Ukrainian Armed Forces to use, so they can better defend their airspace from Russian aggression.

Mr Heappey added: "It was an honour to show Minister Havrylov and his generals the kit the UK hopes to provide next and to discuss some new weapons that have been trialled recently with UK forces."

Jeremy Quin MP (right) with Ukraine Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (center) discuss Ukraine aid 07042022 CREDIT MOD Crown Copyright 2022.jpg
Jeremy Quin MP (right) with Ukraine Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov (centre) during an equipment demonstration (Picture: MOD).

Mr Quin made note of the "clear" support for Ukraine's defence against Russia's invasion.

He added: "We are exploring options for future military support, including working with the UK defence industry and our Ukrainian counterparts into the longer term to ensure the equipment supplied continues to be both effective and sustainable for their heroic armed forces."

The UK has a deep and longstanding bilateral defence relationship with Ukraine and since 2015 has trained more than 22,000 personnel as part of Operation Orbital and the UK-led Maritime Training Initiative.

Watch: How UK 'lethal aid' could help Ukraine's defence.

The UK aid provided to Ukraine so far

Large consignments of weapons have already been sent by the UK to Ukraine, including more than 10,000 anti-tank missiles which have proven effective against Russian armour.

In January, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told MPs the UK would be sending "self-defence" weapons to Ukraine amid tensions with Russia.

Then in March, Mr Wallace told the Commons that the UK had delivered 3,615 NLAWs (next-generation light anti-armour weapons) and this would be followed by a "small consignment" of Javelin anti-tank missiles.

The UK has also sent STARStreak to Ukraine – a short-range missile that is used against low-flying aircraft and helicopters in an attempt to level up Ukraine's defence.

Footage has emerged, reportedly showing STARStreak being used to down a Russian helicopter.

At the end of March, British soldiers were challenged with sorting and packing 84,000 surplus helmets for the Ukrainian military.

Soldiers processed up to 12,000 helmets a day, packing cardboard boxes ready for onward transport to Poland and then to the Ukrainian armed forces.

As well as sending more missiles, body armour, helmets and combat boots the UK is providing £25m from the Foreign Office's conflict security and stabilisation fund to help pay the salaries of Ukrainian soldiers and pilots.