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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the capacity of the Ukrainian Government to finance ongoing military operations in the east of that country; what reports he has received of shortfalls in salary payments to members of the Ukrainian armed forces; and what discussions he has had with his Ukrainian counterpart on those issues.
The financing of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is a matter for the Ukrainian Government, though I would note that the Ukrainian Government has allocated the equivalent of 5% of its GDP for defence and security purposes in the 2017 budget and that Ukrainian armed forces received a significant increase to their pay package and terms of service which took effect in December last year. This is not an issue on which I have corresponded with Foreign Minister Klimkin; neither have concerns been raised by contacts of our Embassy in Kyiv about shortfalls in salary payments. The UK is providing practical support to the training of Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel in defensive, non-escalatory skills, such as first aid.