Ukraine naval forces to be supported by new coalition
The UK will lead a new Maritime Capability Coalition alongside Norway, delivering ships and vehicles to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to operate at sea.
The coalition will support two Royal Navy Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) in service with the Ukraine Armed Force which were purchased through UK Export Finance and commissioned in July 2023. The partnership has built on UK foreign secretary David Cameron’s visit to Ukraine in November when he announced the new ‘Unity Facility’ between UK company Marsh McLennan and the Ukrainian Government.
The facility will provide what the UK government described as ‘affordable’ shipping insurance for grain and other critical food supplies globally from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to support international efforts to alleviate the global food crisis.
The new maritime coalition will work with the Ukrainian Navy and MoD to develop a number of capabilities, including the rapid development of a maritime force in the Black Sea, continuing to develop a Ukrainian Marine Corps, and river patrol craft to defend coastal and inland waterways.
UK defence secretary Grant Shapps remarked: ‘This capability boost marks the beginning of a new dedicated effort by the UK, Norway and our allies to strengthen Ukraine’s maritime capabilities over the long term, enhancing [Ukraine’s] ability to operate in defending their sovereign waters and bolstering security in the Black Sea.’
Agreed during recent meetings of the 50-nation strong Ukraine Defence Contact Group, the partnership will form part of a series of Capability Coalitions designed to strengthen Ukraine’s operations in domains such as on land and in the air.
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