On Tuesday, North Wiltshire MP James Gray asked the Foreign Secretary to clarify what role British troops could play to aid Ukraine against possible Russian aggression during Oral Questions for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Before the debate, Mr Gray said:
“Ukraine has of course been on our radar for a very long time - long before Crimea. It is possible that Putin will act at any moment; but then on the other hand he may not act at all. Sabre rattling is at least as much a part of the Russian inventory as is invasion. In any case, the UK Government needs to be prepared for all eventualities and stand behind our allies in Europe as well as NATO to do all we can to aid Ukraine in this most difficult time.”
In the House of Commons Chamber, Mr Gray added:
“I very strongly welcome the strength and determination of the message that the Foreign Secretary is sending to Mr Putin to deter any possible aggression against Ukraine; it is just right. However, are there any circumstances under which she could foresee British troops being deployed in a combat role, defending Ukraine?”
The Foreign Secretary, Elizabeth Truss MP, replied that:
“As the Defence Secretary said, it is unlikely that that would be the circumstance, but we are working very hard to make sure that Ukraine has the defensive weapons that it needs; that it has the training that it needs—we have trained 20,000 Ukrainian personnel—and that it has the support of the international community. We are pushing our allies very hard to make sure that they are offering similar defensive support.”