The U.K. is to send armored vehicles to Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Pholop Hammond has announced, SIA reports quoting the AA.
Ten armoured vehicles with associated communications equipment worth £1.2 million ($1.9 million) will be sent to the Ukraine Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Hammond on Tuesday.
Hammond said: "The U.K. stands squarely behind the Ukrainian people and government as they defend their nation’s independence and work to make the political, economic and governance reforms that are vital to rebuilding the country.
"We are also significantly boosting the number of U.K. staff sent to the mission, with a further eight U.K. monitors arriving in Ukraine last week and three more to follow at the end of the month."
The vehicles are "crucial" to allow OSCE monitors to work safely in the eastern region of Ukraine, which he described as "volatile".
Foreign Office officials said the mission was being expanded as a response to the Minsk Protocol peace plan and ceasefire agreed between Ukraine and Russia on September 5, 2014, which created significant additional responsibilities for the OSCE, including monitoring and verifying the ceasefire and monitoring the Ukraine-Russia border.
The "gifting" of the vehicles from the U.K. is subject to parliamentary approval and a ministerial statement was being put to the British parliament on Tuesday.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has escalated in spite of the cease-fire, which was intended to put an end to the conflict which has left thousands of people dead.
Between mid-April and October 6, at least 3,600 people died and 8,700 were wounded during the conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists, the UN Human Rights Office said in a report last month.