The UK is preparing to bolster its defence pact with a beleaguered Ukraine, in a move expected next week, Reaction can reveal. British defence firms will also unveil an arms deal, providing military support to the Kiev-based government, Whitehall sources say.

British ministers are expected to travel to Ukraine as early as next week.

The new package of support is the result of a bilateral effort between the UK and Ukraine governments. It’s not US-sponsored, but does have broad support from the Americans, who are increasingly concerned that Russia is about to invade and take more Ukrainian territory.

The Biden administration has warned European leaders that Russia is getting ready. There is huge frustration in Washington with the EU and Europe’s failure to offer proper support to Ukraine or to take a robust line with Russia’s President Putin. 

Germany relies on Russian gas imports and is effectively leaderless right now, as assorted parties attempt to form a new coalition. France’s President Macron is in favour of a rapprochement with Russia and Putin.

Simultaneously, the pro-Putin government in Belarus is sending a stream of migrants over its border with Poland. The Polish government is demanding more help from the EU. And as Tim Marshall, Reaction columnist, explains for members of Reaction this morning, ultra-nationalists backed by Putin are causing trouble in Bosnia.  

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