Ukrainian, British defense ministers discuss cooperation

Li Jiayao

KIEV, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak met here on Thursday with his visiting British counterpart Mark Lancaster to discuss the bilateral cooperation, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

During the talks, Poltorak said that Kiev highly values its defence cooperation with London and stands ready to further expand it.

Poltorak has thanked the United Kingdom for the assistance, particularly, for providing a training program for the Ukrainian army and sending British troops to participate in Ukraine's Independence Day parade.

"British troops have demonstrated a solid preparation and a high level of responsibility during the parade," Poltorak said.

For his part, Lancaster said that the position of the British side regarding further assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces is "flexible."

"We are ready to consider the proposals of the Ukrainian side regarding other areas of assistance," he said.

Since March 2015, British military instructors have been providing trainings to Ukrainian servicemen, who fight against pro-independence rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Since being in the East European country, the UK troops have directly trained over 5,000 members of Ukraine's army.

British troops have also taken part in Ukraine's Independence Day parade on Aug. 24 together with servicemen from nine other foreign countries.


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