Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 17th March 2015.

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Photo of William McCrea William McCrea Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assistance the Government has given to the government of Ukraine against Russian aggression.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

On his visit to Kyiv on 5 March, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) met President Poroshenko and other senior Ukrainian government officials and underlined strongly the UK’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the importance of maintaining pressure on Russia until full implementation of the Minsk agreements has been achieved. The UK wishes to avoid a path of confrontation with Russia and strongly supports all diplomatic efforts to bring a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the member for Witney (Mr Cameron) also discussed the situation in Ukraine with President Poroshenko on 12 and 15 February and agreed on the handling of the UN Security Council resolution which called for full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

In addition to diplomatic support, the UK is providing practical assistance to Ukraine. The UK is providing £10 million in technical assistance to support economic and governance reforms in Ukraine, and to provide humanitarian assistance. In response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation an additional £15 million of humanitarian support to Ukraine was announced by the Prime Minister on 23 February. Over the last year we have increased our defence engagement and are providing additional support on crisis management, anti-corruption, defence reform, strategic communications and we are now also providing advice on procurement. We provided two non-lethal packages of equipment, including protective gear, winter clothing, medical kits and winter fuel. We are now planning to send a third package, as well as sending short-term training teams to strengthen the capacity and resilience of the Ukraine Armed Forces. Our non-lethal equipment is designed to reduce further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties and to help improve situational awareness on the ground.

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