Britain has offered to send an armoured battle group of 25 tanks to join NATO exercises in Poland as a show of force against Russian President Vladimir Putin. This deployment would see up to 1,000 British soldiers join NATO war games across the border from Ukraine.
The Telegraph reports that an army source said: “We have offered a whole range of capabilities and one is a battle group with heavy armour. It’s all scoping at the moment and we are waiting to see what Nato wants from us.”
The battle group could also contain 40 Warrior fighting vehicles as well as artillery. This would be by far the UK’s largest response to the Ukraine crisis so far.
The Ministry of Defence last night said no final decision had been made, but it was looking to bolster NATO exercises later this year.
The news comes as Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to meet the Russian President, with the ongoing Ukraine crisis looking set to dominate talks.
Speaking as the G7 summit meets, Mr Cameron said they must send “a clear message of support to Ukraine and a united message to President Putin that he needs to engage with the Ukrainian government to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
“And that’s what I’ll be saying to President Putin myself tomorrow. This is the first summit without Russia since the 1990s.
“And until they change course, they need to understand that they will face continuing isolation and no seat at the table.”
An MoD spokesman said: “The UK’s Armed Forces have undertaken a range of additional measures to re-assure our Nato Baltic allies in recent weeks, with a number of enhancements to existing exercises and new contributions to training and operations in the region.
“This has included the deployment of RAF Fast Jet Typhoons to police Baltic Airspace alongside our Polish counterparts and infantry units training in Estonia.
“We have also augmented further Nato exercises with additional personnel. We keep these measures under review and don’t rule out further enhancements.”