Grant Shapps, the defense secretary of the United Kingdom, has proposed sending British troops to Ukraine to participate in military training exercises.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Shapps, who has been in charge of the Ministry of Defense since August, revealed his intention to strengthen British military presence in Ukraine even though doing so could exacerbate tensions with Russia and directly involve NATO in a battle.
Shapps added that he had discussed the possibility of moving future training closer to Ukraine with Chief of the General Staff Gen Sir Patrick Sanders and other high-ranking individuals at the Salisbury Plain Training Area.
He said they are seeing companies like BAE, which has traditionally focused on teaching, go into manufacturing in the country. This is especially true in the western part of the country. The defense minister suggested that deploying British troops to Ukraine may lessen the need for training at British and other NATO facilities.
According to the Ministry of Defense, since the beginning of 2018, British military personnel and others have trained almost 20,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at British locations.
Shapps said the UK is considering increasing its Naval presence in the war to protect commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea from the Russian fleet.
They have been observing dramatic developments in the Black Sea since early 2014. Shapps said Britain can provide support and guidance as a naval nation, especially considering that the sea in question is international. The assumption that foreign shipping is forbidden is that water must be avoided at all costs. British expertise can be invaluable in many fields, in his opinion.
The UK has supported the Ukrainian war effort, becoming the first country to deliver Western-made main battle tanks and long-range cruise missiles to Kyiv.
Military aid to Ukraine from the United Kingdom was £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) last year, and this year’s exact sum has been promised.