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Britain Leads Maritime Coalition to Bolster Ukraine's Security



The United Kingdom and Ukraine recently signed a comprehensive security agreement, with Britain set to lead the newly formed Maritime Capability Coalition. This coalition is poised to make a substantial contribution to the development of Ukraine's naval fleet, providing a much-needed boost to the nation's security infrastructure.

 

The coalition has a clear mission: to support Ukraine in becoming a net contributor to maritime security across the Black Sea and Azov Sea until 2035 and beyond. The coalition's primary objectives include helping Ukraine build future capabilities to effectively restrain and counter maritime threats, restore economic activity in the region, and enhance operational interoperability with NATO in the maritime sphere.

 

In a demonstration of unwavering commitment, Britain and Norway had earlier announced the creation of a maritime coalition specifically designed to assist Ukraine. This initiative saw Britain pledging substantial support by transferring two mine countermeasure ships of the Sandown class, along with 23 fast boats and 20 amphibious tracked vehicles to Ukraine.

 

The Ministry of Defense of Great Britain confirmed the transfer of two Sandown-class minehunters from the Royal Navy to Ukraine in early December. These advanced mine countermeasure vessels represent a significant upgrade to Ukraine's naval capabilities, providing the nation with cutting-edge technology and expertise to secure its maritime borders.

 

However, despite the positive developments, there have been challenges in implementing the maritime coalition's plans. Turkey refused to allow the passage of British mine countermeasure vessels through its Bosporus and Dardanelles straits. Citing Article 19 of the Montreux Convention, which prohibits the passage of military ships of conflicting parties, Turkey justified its decision based on the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

 

While this setback may temporarily impede the transfer of these vital assets to Ukraine, it is crucial to note that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not perceived Ankara's decision as betrayal. Ukraine acknowledges the norms of the Montreux Convention and has not formally applied to Ankara for the passage of British mine countermeasure vessels.

 

The British-led maritime coalition plays a pivotal role in bolstering Ukraine's security, which, in turn, has broader implications for regional stability. With Russia's aggressive actions in the Black Sea and Azov Sea regions, an enhanced maritime defense capability in Ukraine acts as a deterrent, signaling a united front against any potential threats.

 

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