UK signs agreement to help boost Ukraine’s navy ahead of increased threat from Russia World News

Britain and Ukraine have finalized a treaty that will enable Kiev to seek loans from London to buy British warships and missiles in a time of heightened tensions with Russia.

In the £ 1.7bn shopping list of Ukraine are two minesweepers, the joint production of eight missile ships and a frigate as well as the purchase of weapons for existing ships.

Any help from Britain to grow the Ukrainian navy is likely to be viewed by the Kremlin as a new provocation.

Ben Wallace, the secretary of defense, and his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov, said in a joint statement: “Our governments have no desire to be opposed, or seek in any way to strategically surround or undermine the Russian Federation.”

The statement came on Tuesday night after Wallace visited Ukraine and growing concern among NATO allies about what has been described as a large and unusual build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders and also within the annexed Crimean peninsula.

The Ukrainian and British defense ministers said: “We are concerned about Russia’s military build-up and action around Ukraine’s borders.

“Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity are unquestionable.”

Ukraine is not a member of NATO but allies have pledged to support the country in its bid with Moscow.

The Ministry of Defense has revealed that the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement between London and Kiev was signed last week in the British capital.

It is the next step in a long-term effort for the UK to support Ukraine in expanding its naval forces.

The treaty will allow Ukraine to enter into a financial arrangement with UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency.

This means it will be able to receive supported funding for contracts with British suppliers.

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