Royal Navy warship LIVE: Vessels surge across to Ukraine to reopen ‘vital export routes’

The Royal Navy is sending two of its minehunter ships to Ukraine to bolster the country’s sea abilities and be used to protect export routes in the Black Sea, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the warships will help to reopen “vital export routes”. However, it is still unclear how the two warships will enter the Black Sea. Plans to send the two Sandown class mine countermeasures vessels were first announced in 2021, before Russia’s invasion, and will assist the eastern European country to protect its sea lanes from Russian mines.

The delivery is part of a joint project with Norway, to garner long term support for Kyiv. In a statement, Mr Shapps added that the bid to improve Ukraine’s navy “marks the beginning of a new dedicated effort by the UK, Norway and our allies to strengthen Ukraine’s maritime capabilities… enhancing their ability to operate in defending their sovereign waters and bolstering security in the Black Sea”.

“As an island nation with a proud maritime history, the UK and Royal Navy are particularly well-placed to support this endeavour, which will form part of a series of new coalitions formed between allies to ensure an enduring military commitment in support of Ukraine.”

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