US patrol boats despatched to beef up Ukrainian Navy near Black Sea

A ship carrying two refitted former US Coast Guard patrol boats designed to beef up the Ukrainian Navy transited the Dardanelles strait on Saturday days after Ukraine stated it feared Russia could be making ready an assault on it.

The ship carrying the 2 Island-class patrol boats departed Baltimore for the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Nov. 8. Ukrainian sailors have already undergone intensive coaching on the vessels within the United States. Ukraine bought two comparable vessels in 2019.

The two new boats are a part of a safety bundle to Ukraine price over $2.5 billion since 2014, the yr when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and Russian-backed separatists seized a swath of japanese Ukraine, the US embassy in Kyiv says.

Read extra: Russia to deploy new paratroop regiment on annexed Crimea

The United States, Ukraine and NATO have accused Russia of threatening behaviour in direction of Kyiv in current weeks alleging that it has constructed up its forces in proximity to Ukraine in an uncommon approach.

Russia says it has the proper to move its troops wherever it needs by itself territory and isn’t planning to assault anybody.

The Kremlin stated in September that NATO would cross a Russian pink line if it expanded its army infrastructure in Ukraine, and Moscow has since accused Ukraine and NATO of destabilising behaviour, together with within the Black Sea.

Also learn: NATO warns Russia over Ukraine army build-up

Kyiv misplaced most of its Black Sea naval energy after the annexation of Crimea when Russia seized a lot of its navy. It has since been making an attempt to rebuild its navy with the assistance of NATO nations.

The US State Department this summer time accredited the potential sale to Ukraine of as much as 16 Mark VI patrol boats and gear for an estimated $600 million.

Ukraine, which strives to turn into a NATO member, obtained a big consignment of US ammunition earlier this yr and Javelin anti-tank missiles, prompting criticism from Moscow which has stated it has severe safety considerations concerning the prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO sooner or later.

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