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UK in talks to sell missiles to Ukraine in first arms deal: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows a Ukrainian soldier on the frontline against pro-Russia forces in the Lugansk region.

The United Kingdom is in talks with Ukraine to provide it with missiles for the first time under an arms deal, a report says.

In a report published on Wednesday, the British daily The Times said that under the deal, Britain would provide Ukrainian patrol boats with surface-to-surface missiles and its warplanes with air-to-surface missiles.

It added that Ukraine and the UK had boosted cooperation following Brexit.

According to the report, the British Defense Ministry is discussing the sale of surface-to-surface maritime Brimstone missiles designed by MBDA UK, which can reportedly hit “swarms” of targets at the same time and would be deployed on vessels that the Ukrainian navy has in service.

Ukraine has been vigorously strengthening its ties, including military ones, with the West since 2014, when an armed conflict broke out in its eastern Donbass region between government forces and ethnic Russians.

The US, the European Union, and Ukraine claim that Russia has a hand in the conflict. Moscow strongly rejects the allegation.

Also in 2014, the then-Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty. The US and the EU backed Kiev and refused to recognize the referendum results. They also imposed rounds of sanctions on Russia.

Last month, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that an all-out war with neighboring Russia was a “possibility,” as he complained about Kiev not being allowed to join the US-led NATO military alliance.

His comments came amid Russian insistence that Ukraine is losing interest in peace talks after the recent announcement of further US military aid to Kiev.

Russia denounced the latest US military aid to Ukraine in September, insisting that the move could make Kiev behave unpredictably and dangerously and “can only be a cause for regret.”

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