British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has outlined Britain's stance on the conflict in Ukraine, telling a news conference in Budapest on 27 February that weapons could still be provided to Ukrainian armed forces if the situation on the ground changes.

During the news conference, Hammond told reporters that Russia was not showing signs of a permanent truce and further assaults were a possibility.

"Russia is not compliant with its obligations under Minsk at the moment - it is true that over the last few days the level of open conflict has reduced and we welcome that but we see signs of separatist units regrouping, reequipping, restocking. We do not see yet the signs on the ground of behaviour of units which are planning to disengage permanently from combat. So we have to be prepared for the possibility of a further assault," he said.

The pro-Russian rebels have been pulling back heavy weapons for two days, but Kiev has held back, arguing that fighting had not yet ceased. However, the army reported no combat fatalities on the front line for a second consecutive day on 26 February.

Hammond said Britain will provide technical and training support for Ukraine. He also kept the option open to send arms in the future.

"We are equally clear that we cannot allow Ukrainian armed forces to disintegrate under pressure. We have taken the decision at the moment not to provide any lethal support to the Ukrainian armed forces, we are not sending arms, but we reserve the right to keep that decision under review if the situation changes on the ground," he said.

The separatist rebels initially ignored the new truce last week and launched an advance that led to one of the biggest battles of a war that killed more than 5,600 people.

But since capturing the strategic town of Debaltseve, where the rebels said the truce did not apply, they have now emphasised their intention to abide by it.