March 6, 2015 / 3:21 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. plan to train Ukraine national guard 'on hold'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. plan to train Ukrainian national guard troops is “on hold” pending implementation of a ceasefire deal between government troops and Russian-backed rebels, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Europe said on Friday.

The training mission, first announced in August last year, had been due to start this month. One battalion of U.S. soldiers is due to train three Ukrainian National Guard battalions.

A U.S. military official, speaking to Reuters on Friday on condition of anonymity, said the training mission had not yet been finalised.

Later on Friday, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Europe, confirmed the delay in a statement and said: “The U.S. government would like to see the Minsk agreement fulfilled.”

“The training mission is currently on hold but Army Europe is prepared to carry out the mission if and when our government decides to move forward,” the statement said.

Reporting by Phil Stewart in Washington and Wiktor Szary in Warsaw; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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