Britain said on Tuesday it had agreed to a NATO request to send a 600-strong reserve battalion to bolster an alliance peacekeeping force in Kosovo, the Reuters reported.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia on February 17 in a move that had Western backing but was rejected by Serbia and its ally Russia.
The decision stoked tensions with the ethnic Serb minority in northern Kosovo that erupted into riots last month in which a Ukrainian police officer serving with the United Nations was killed and dozens of U.N. police and NATO soldiers were injured.
"We are ... well prepared to meet NATO's request and I have agreed to deploy our Operational Reserve Force battalion until June 30, 2008," Defense Secretary Des Browne said in a written statement to parliament.
"The deployment will demonstrate our commitment to the security of the region and will provide NATO with extra flexibility in maintaining peace and stability for all communities within Kosovo," he said.
The soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, will spend about a month in Kosovo, from late May until the end of June, a Ministry of Defense spokesman said.
The battalion had been on standby since January to go to Kosovo, where they will supplement 16,000 NATO-led peacekeepers.
A former military commander and an opposition politician said sending more troops overseas left British forces severely stretched. Britain has about 4,000 troops in Iraq and has some 7,800 troops fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
"It really is absolutely scraping the barrel with very harmful effects on the future of the British army, which is not big enough now to do all the tasks that the government wants it to do," former chief of defense staff Lord Bramall told the BBC.