By Chris Hughes
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has secretly told armed forces chiefs that our troops would not go into battle to help save Ukraine if Russia invaded.
The Tory has seemingly washed his hands of the region, claiming that the sacrifice of parts of Ukraine to Moscow would not be important to the UK.
It would mean that Britain had failed to honour a 1994 agreement to assure Ukraine’s security in exchange for it giving up nuclear weapons.
Insiders said Mr Hammond made the remarks during a meeting with the UK’s top armed forces chiefs.
A source told the Mirror: “This is an astonishing stance – especially since publicly the Government wants Russia to fear a robust response from Britain if sanctions don’t stop Vladimir Putin.
“Perhaps most importantly it seems he believes it’s OK for Britain to turn its back on Ukraine despite us signing assurances we wouldn’t.”
Sources said Mr Hammond told the top brass – including Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Houghton – that Britain failing to take part in military intervention in Ukraine would “not affect our world standing”.
Mr Hammond has been slated for slashing defence numbers. Cutbacks will reduce the Army from 120,000 soldiers to 80,000 by 2020. Experts think the cuts have helped convince Russian President Mr Putin to consider grabbing land.
A UK Government spokesman said: “Our stance on military intervention is clear and long standing. We believe the situation in Ukraine should be dealt with through diplomacy and mediation in the relevant international organisations such as the UN.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday said Britain was ready to pay the economic price of imposing tougher trade sanctions on Russia over its “bullying” in Ukraine. US President Barack Obama also accused Mr Putin of failing to “lift a finger” to persuade pro-Russia militants in Ukraine to defuse the crisis.http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-troops-not-fight-ukraine-3468093#ixzz32n09inBI
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