Verkhovna Rada Approves Bill to Let Foreign Troops in Ukraine
19:13 17.03.2015(updated 20:06 17.03.2015)
In 2015, Ukraine is planning to hold three joint exercises with US troops and two joint drills with Poland.
KIEV (Sputnik) – The Ukrainian parliament approved on Tuesday a bill allowing foreign troops into the country to participate in a number of joint military exercises with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2015.
Ukraine is planning to hold three joint exercises with US troops – Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015, and two joint drills with Poland – Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015.
The bill has been submitted by President Petro Poroshenko as approval by parliament is needed to allow foreign military personnel into Ukraine, according to the country's constitution.
A number of western nations already provide Ukraine with non-lethal military aid. The US Congress has authorized President Barack Obama to send lethal aid as well, but the president has so far been reluctant to do so.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Poland have also expressed their intention to send military advisers to Ukraine to train local troops.
In early March, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the United States had already deployed military instructors to Ukraine for a joint training mission.
On Tuesday, US Army Europe Commander Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges reportedly said that the training of three Ukrainian army battalions had been delayed in order to give more time for the implementation of the ceasefire agreements between Kiev and east Ukraine's independence supporters.
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