British instructors will have trained 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers by March 2017, Philip Hammond, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said during the NATO summit in Warsaw.
“We have a very active cooperation with Ukraine. The UK will train 4,000 Ukrainian servicemen until March 2017,” the UK Secretary told journalists.
Hammond expressed his hope that the cooperation between Ukraine and NATO will deepen, and pointed out that the UK plans to contribute to this cooperation, particularly, with training Ukraine’s military personnel. He also underlined that the door of the alliance is potentially open to all countries, including Ukraine, and pointed to the example of Montenegro’s accession to NATO.
About one hundred the UK military instructors and advisers have arrived to 10 Ukrainian training centers and started to work there since March 2015. Instructors have already trained 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and they plan to train 300 more in 2016, the British Secretary of State for Defense, Michael Fallon said in March this year.
“This underlines the commitment of the UK to the issue of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and our other Eastern European partners. This is another clear sign that we strongly support Ukraine in times of aggression,” the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform quoted his words.
NATO is going to deploy four multinational battalions in the Baltic States and Poland and arm them with around 1,200 combat vehicles, including 30 aircrafts. The main purpose of the battalions is a countering the growing “assertiveness” of Russia. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the leaders of NATO member states has already approved the decision to deploy four multinational battalions in Eastern Europe. The members of the Alliance also plan to increase the scale and pace of the exercises on land and in water all over the Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said at the Warsaw summit that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine threatens our vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”
At the same time, not everyone in the block agrees with the US President. “NATO has no role at all to be saying what Europe’s relations with Russia should be,” French President Francois Hollande said at the summit, adding that “for France, Russia is not an adversary, not a threat.”
The Russian military said it has to react to the security challenges creating by NATO. Moscow are going to take the defensive measures, including the creation of new army divisions, and the strengthening of the Navy’s Baltic and Black Sea Fleets.