Recording: Ukraine Defence Cooperation with the UK and US

This event discusses the state of UK–Ukraine and US–Ukraine security cooperation and the essentials of the UK and US’s security assistance to Ukraine, and provides policy recommendations on how to enhance cooperation.

Watch the event recording


Since 2014, the UK and US have been the primary security partners for Ukraine, helping it to boost its defence capabilities and counter Russian aggression. Ukraine continues to face security threats from Russian-backed forces in Donbas, and from Russian military build-up along Ukraine's eastern borders, in Crimea and in the maritime domain.

Defence assistance has focused on supporting Ukraine in advancing its military capabilities, implementing defence sector reforms, upgrading the defence industry, and increasing its military’s interoperability with NATO. The US has provided both non-lethal and lethal defensive items, and more recently has focused on enhancing Ukraine’s capacity to counter the Russian threat in the Black Sea. The UK has committed to helping Ukraine enhance its naval capabilities, focusing on the development of new bases and platforms, delivery of shipborne armaments, and the training of naval personnel.

The discussion will address the following questions:

  • What have been the objectives of Western security assistance to Ukraine, and how successful has this assistance been?
  • What are the lessons that have been learned from developing the UK–Ukraine security relationship?
  • How do the UK and US balance the modernisation of Ukrainian forces and strengthening deterrence, with the risk of further destabilisation of the region?
  • What should be the priority areas for future assistance?

About the speakers

Alexander Vindman, Former Director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Russia, White House National Security Council; Colonel, US Army (retired); Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Dr Maryna Vorotnyuk, Research Fellow, International Security Studies, RUSI

Orysia Lutsevych, Head and Research Fellow, Ukraine Forum, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

Chaired by Dr Neil Melvin, Director International Security Studies, RUSI


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