British tanks to arrive on Ukraine's front lines 'this side of summer' - defence minister

UK and Baltic defence ministers meet in Estonia to discuss providing heavy weaponry to Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) - Tanks donated by Britain to Ukraine will be on the front line before summer, defence minister Ben Wallace said on Monday, without giving an exact timetable.

Asked in parliament when the 14 Challenger tanks it has agreed to supply would be deployed onto the battlefield, Wallace said: "It'll be this side of the summer, or May - it'll be probably towards Easter time."

He said security reasons prevented him from setting out the timetable of training for Ukrainian forces on using the tanks, but that it would begin with instruction on operation of individual vehicles before progressing to how to fight in formation.

Last week, Britain said its plan was that the tanks would arrive in Ukraine by the end of March.

(Reporting by William James and Muvija M, editing by Elizabeth Piper)