After learning of France’s decision to suspend the supply of warships to Russia and of the British governments decision to send British troops to exercise in Ukraine, UKIP Defence Spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP said:
“While I see France’s decision to suspend the supply of two warships to Putin’s forces, as a victory for common sense over national greed, I am very concerned by the coalition government’s decision to send British troops on exercise in the Ukraine, especially at such a sensitive time in ceasefire negotiations.”
“I believe that any deployment of British troops abroad, whether on operations or exercise and no matter how small, should only be done on the grounds of serving the national interest of the UK; a prerequisite I feel that this deployment falls short of. I would also question the mission of these troops, as a deployment of thirty men smacks of Special Forces.”
“We have to remember that Ukraine is currently a country at war and even if our forces are only engaged in exercising, this is a highly provocative act at such a sensitive time in the ceasefire negotiations. While we should always fulfil our treaty obligations to NATO, Ukraine is not part of NATO. We should be moving away from armed confrontation in the region and toward the negotiating table in this poisonous conflict.”
“What is also of great concern is that with troop deployments to Ukraine, and Cameron’s sabre rattling over Islamic state, we as a country are once again faced with a situation where British troops could once again be deployed in two separate conflicts, as we were in Iraq and Afghanistan. We simply cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into a situation, especially considering the cutbacks our armed forces has recently undergone."