The United Kingdom is dispatching two Minehunters to Ukraine, while Britain and Norway are providing additional support to strengthen the Ukrainian Navy.
On Monday, Britain and Norway declared their alliance to strengthen Ukraine’s naval power. They stated that having a robust maritime presence is essential in combatting Russia’s hostile actions and ensuring the safety of grain and steel exports through the Black Sea.
In order to assist, the United Kingdom will be dispatching two vessels for detecting mines, amphibious vehicles with armor, and boats for coastal raids to Ukraine, according to the Secretary of Defense Grant Shapps.
Shapps and Gram, the Defense Minister of Norway, held a press conference in London to announce the establishment of a coalition for maritime capabilities. They stated that other countries are anticipated to join in the near future, creating a “genuinely worldwide endeavor.”
The European dedication to supporting Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion remains strong, despite concerns that political tensions in Congress may result in a halt of U.S. funding.
Shapps stated that ensuring the safety of the oceans is the key to overcoming a dictator such as Putin and ensuring lasting freedom and prosperity for Ukraine and Europe as a whole.
Last week, David Cameron, the British Foreign Secretary, praised the effectiveness of Ukraine’s small navy in countering Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. He used this as an argument for why the United States and other democratic nations should continue to offer military support to the Kyiv government.
According to Cameron’s statement at the Aspen Security Forum in Washington, Ukraine does not possess a significant navy. However, they have been able to successfully sink approximately 20% of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Cameron described this as a noteworthy feat.
According to British officials, the recently formed coalition plans to collaborate with Ukraine in increasing its military presence in the Black Sea. This includes the establishment of a Ukrainian Marine Corps and strengthening the utilization of river patrol vessels to protect both inland and coastal waterways.
On Monday, the U.K. aid package was revealed to contain 20 Viking armored personnel vehicles. These vehicles can be quickly transported via helicopters or landing craft. Additionally, there are 23 coastal raiding boats included in the package, which can be utilized to land small groups of soldiers or serve as a base for heavy machine guns.
The United Kingdom announced that it has given two Sandown class ships to Ukraine, which are meant to aid in the removal of mines from coastal areas.
However, the deployment of the vessel has been delayed due to Turkey’s choice to block non-Black Sea ships from using the Bosporus Strait. This decision aims to avoid turning the area into a battleground.
Before Russia’s complete attack on Ukraine, Britain initially declared an agreement to trade two mine-hunting vessels to Ukraine in June of 2021. In the previous year, Ukrainian personnel initiated their training on the ships in Scotland.
The defense minister of Norway stated that their aim is to help develop a strong Ukrainian naval force. They also expressed hope that their country’s experience in maritime matters, as well as new technology and creative ideas, can be beneficial in future efforts.