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Ukraine secures £1.25 billion from UK to build military vessels

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy applauds during a ceremony to celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day, in Kyiv, Ukraine August 24, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine will sign a memorandum with the United Kingdom, securing 1.25 billion pounds ($1.61 billion) to build new military vessels for the Ukrainian Navy, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday.

The memorandum would be signed during Zelenskiy’s state visit to the UK on Oct. 7-8.

“This is an important strategic document ... we will sign this memorandum for the amount of 1.25 billion pounds,” Zelenskiy told local television, without giving further details.

Specialised military news agencies have said the funds would be in the form of a 10-year loan and allow the UK to provide 8 Barzan-class fast attack crafts to Ukraine.

They said the first two ships would be constructed in the UK with the remaining 6 vessels to be completed in Ukraine.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets, Editing by Kirsten Donovan