UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov have signed an intergovernmental framework agreement (IFA).

The agreement marks the next stage of bilateral cooperation between the nations and is aimed at increasing Ukraine’s defence capabilities and strengthening interoperability.

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It will see Ukraine use British financing to enhance its naval capabilities.

Through the latest agreement, the two countries will continue to focus on joint projects to develop the capabilities of the Ukrainian forces.

In a joint statement, the defence ministers said: “Ukraine and the United Kingdom are strategic partners in security and defence.

“Our governments have no desire to be adversarial or seek in any way to strategically encircle or undermine the Russian Federation. We are concerned by Russia’s military build-up and activity around the borders of Ukraine.

“Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is indisputable.

“The United Kingdom stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will continue its long-standing determination to support them.

“We are unwavering in that support and together we remain vigilant and united in the defence of our common values and freedoms.”

The IFA is a follow-on to the Memorandum of Implementation signed by the two countries in June this year to partner on enhancing Ukraine’s naval capabilities.

This memorandum provides for the joint design and construction of ships in Ukraine and the UK, the reconstruction of Ukrainian shipbuilding enterprises, and the construction of two bases for the Ukrainian Navy.

In October 2020, the UK and Ukraine Defence Ministers signed a Memorandum of Intent to develop the capabilities of the Ukrainian Navy.