United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that there are no immediate plans to send troops to Ukraine, despite earlier comments made by Defense Minister Grant Shapps suggesting otherwise. The UK has refrained from sending troops to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, in order to avoid escalating the conflict with Russia.
Shapps had previously expressed his desire to send military instructors to Ukraine for training purposes, either in Britain or other western countries. However, Sunak’s statements contradicted this vision, emphasizing that there are currently no British troops being sent to Ukraine. Sunak clarified that Shapps was referring to the possibility of conducting training in Ukraine in the future, but not in the present circumstances.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that British troops training Ukrainian soldiers in Ukraine would become targets for Russian forces. Despite this, the UK has been providing training to Ukrainians, with approximately 20,000 individuals having undergone five-week military courses over the past year. The UK intends to continue this training in the future, maintaining a similar number of participants.
Shapps mentioned the potential for bringing training programs closer to Ukraine, specifically in the western region of the country. He also expressed hope that British defense companies, like BAE Systems, would continue with their plans to establish arms factories in Ukraine. However, during his address at the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Shapps did not touch upon his earlier comments regarding troops being sent to Ukraine. Instead, he emphasized the need for steadfast support in Ukraine’s war against Russia, acknowledging the high toll the conflict has taken in terms of lives and resources.
In conclusion, while the UK does not presently plan to deploy troops to Ukraine, it continues to provide military training to Ukrainian forces and explores possibilities for bringing training programs closer to the country.