UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps says the agreement will help Ukraine save lives at sea.
Britain will hand over two Royal Navy minehunter ships to Ukraine as the war-torn country grapples with a continued blockage of the Black Sea by Russia.
U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps will on Monday announce Ukraine’s armed forces have “procured” the Sandown Class vessels from Britain’s Royal Navy, although the details of the transfer are still being arranged through U.K. Export Finance, London’s export credit agency.
In remarks issued by the Ministry of Defense ahead of the announcement, Shapps said the minehunters, which are designed to clear mines to make waters safe for bigger vessels, would help Ukraine save lives at sea, and open up export routes, which have been severely limited by the Russian invasion.
“This capability boost marks the beginning of a new dedicated effort by the U.K., Norway and our allies to strengthen Ukraine’s maritime capabilities over the long term, enhancing their ability to operate in defending their sovereign waters and bolstering security in the Black Sea,” Shapps said.
The move is part of a new Maritime Capability Coalition, set up with Norway, to help bolster Ukraine’s maritime training, equipment and infrastructure. Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram will be in London on Monday to launch the initiative.
The new coalition wants to help Ukraine transform its navy to make it “more compatible with Western allies, more interoperable with NATO, and bolstering security in the Black Sea,” the Defense Ministry said.
Source : Politico