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13 June, 2024
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UK's Royal Navy boosts Ukraine's maritime strength

Minehunters set to open vital export routes


The Royal Navy is set to transfer two minehunter ships to Ukraine, a move aimed at enhancing the country's maritime capabilities in the wake of Russia's invasion.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the vessels' role in reopening crucial export routes, addressing challenges faced since the conflict began.

As reported by BBC, Shapps highlighted the formation of a maritime coalition with Norway, signaling a long-term commitment to support Ukraine's defense efforts.

The Defence Secretary assured that the Royal Navy's contribution would make a significant difference, particularly in clearing mines from the Black Sea.

He dismissed notions of waning Western interest in the conflict, emphasizing the importance of preventing an autocratic incursion into a democratic nation without sustained attention and response.

While the provision of minehunters has been part of a pre-invasion commitment, questions arise about their entry into the Black Sea, controlled by Turkey. The ongoing training of Ukrainian crews by the Royal Navy underscores the anticipation of their deployment.

The broader context reveals Ukraine's successful targeting of Russia's Black Sea fleet in Crimea over the last six months, using advanced tactics. However, Ukraine faces the challenge of rebuilding its navy and securing access through strategic straits.

The coalition between the UK and Norway aims to address these needs, focusing on rapid maritime force development in the Black Sea, strengthening the Ukrainian Marine Corps, and deploying river patrol craft for coastal and inland defense.

This move comes in the aftermath of Russia's blockade, impacting Ukraine's maritime exports, including significant grain reserves.

The collaborative efforts seek to restore Ukraine's maritime strength, allowing it to safeguard vital trade routes and defend against further incursions.

[With information sourced from BBC]

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