Pro-Russian rebels Ukraine
UAE denies supply of weapons to Ukraine is part of deal (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denied reports suggesting the Gulf state will supply arms to Ukrainian forces as part of a defence deal.

Though the two sides have signed a contract, it does not cover weapons supply, a UAE official said.

"An agreement on cooperation in defence technologies the UAE and Ukraine signed recently does not stipulate any contracts for deliveries of weaponry to the Ukrainian side," Faraj Faris al-Mazrouei, a senior aide to UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, told local news outlet Emarat al-Yawm.

With the West reluctant to supply weapons to Ukraine, officials had earlier said they would purchase arms from elsewhere to bolster the country's defensive capabilities.

Speaking at an International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said: "I want to stress that we increase the defensive capabilities of the Ukrainian army only to better defend our territory - to keep our independence, to keep our territorial integrity, to keep our sovereignty. I do not have any plans to attack anybody. I am a president of peace, and we are a country of peace. But to keep the peace, we should have an ability to defend ourselves."

Despite repeated requests for heavy weapons from Kiev, Germany, the UK and France are strictly against dispatching weapons fearing this would lead to escalation of the months-long conflict.