British soldiers look set to be deployed in Ukraine for the first time, according to the Defence Secretary.
Grant Shapps made the announcement after discussing new plans with military chiefs. He told The Telegraph that an official British-led training programme could be sent "into Ukraine".
Shapps also wants British defence firms to establish production in Ukraine. It is believed that the move would reduce the reliance on the UK and other NATO members.
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Shapps told The Telegraph: “I was talking today about eventually getting the training brought closer and actually into Ukraine as well.
“Particularly in the west of the country, I think the opportunity now is to bring more things ‘in country’ – not just training, but also we’re seeing BAE [the UK defence firm], for example, move into manufacturing in country, for example.
“I’m keen to see other British companies do their bit as well by doing the same thing. So I think there will be a move to get more training and production in the country.”
Shapps visited Kyiv last week where he reportedly spoke with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky about how British Navy warships could now be used in defend commercial vessels in the Black Sea from Vladimir Putin's forces.
The Defence Secretary said "we can help and we can advise" in the Black Sea, pointing out that it is international water. “It’s important that we don’t allow a situation to establish by default that somehow international shipping isn’t allowed in that water," he said.
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