News ID: 302274
Published: 0210 GMT April 18, 2021

UK to deploy warships in Black Sea as Russia-Ukraine tension worsens

UK to deploy warships in Black Sea as Russia-Ukraine tension worsens
The UK’s Navy Type 45 destroyer

British warships will sail for the Black Sea in May amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing senior naval sources.

The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and Britain's NATO allies, the newspaper reported.

One Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, according to the report.

RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the task group's flag ship, the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships in the Black Sea, the report added.

Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have been rising amid a buildup of Russian troops along the border and clashes in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian Army and separatists.

On Saturday, two Russian warships were also transited the Bosphorus en route to the Black Sea and 15 smaller vessels completed a transfer to the sea as Moscow beefs up its naval presence in the sea.

In a further sign of heightened tensions in the region, a ship carrying logistics trucks and equipment for NATO forces in Romania transited the Bosphorus on Friday evening.


NATO threats


Russia's defense minister said on Tuesday that the country's military buildup in the country’s west was part of readiness drills amid threats from NATO, according to AP.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the maneuvers in western Russia that have worried neighboring Ukraine and brought warnings from NATO would last for another two weeks.

Speaking at a meeting with the top military brass, Shoigu said the exercise was a response to continuous efforts by the United States and its NATO allies to beef up their forces near Russia's borders.

In the past three weeks, the Russian military has deployed two armies and three airborne formations to western regions “as a response to the alliance's military activities threatening Russia,” the defense minister said.

The US and its allies have sounded alarm about the concentration of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine, where separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict since 2014.

More than 14,000 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled.








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