(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Ukraine has received a boost to its naval capabilities after its NATO allies sent in a number of vessels to help balance the scales of power in the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian navy is set to receive 20 Viking amphibious and armored all-terrain vehicles, 23 raiding craft, and two mine-clearing vessels from UK and Norway. The Ukrainian navy previously only relied on long-range cruise missiles as well as drone boats to counter parts of Russia’s fleet that is deployed in the Black Sea.
The donation of sea vessels is part of an initiative by London and Oslo called the Maritime Capability Coalition, which will also be joined by several other countries in the near future. The goal of the initiative is to beef up Ukraine’s navy and make it more compatible with its Western allies – thereby setting it up for NATO membership in the future.
The initiative also aims to enable commercial ships to pass through the Russian blockade in the Black Sea – which would also benefit Ukraine’s economy, which has taken a bit of a beating due to the blockade. After backing out of the Black Sea grain deal brokered by the U.N. in July, Russia has said that it will consider all vessels that pass through the Black Sea as military vessels, and has made good on the promise, raiding one cargo ship and firing missiles at another. Moscow has also stepped up attacks on Ukraine’s coastal cities and ports.
The enhanced naval capabilities are expected to provide a significant advantage to Ukraine, which even with its limited capabilities, has managed to drive the Russian fleet back through attacks on key targets such as command infrastructures, ships, and shipyards. This has allowed Kyiv to put up a humanitarian corridor ships can use to traverse the Black Sea, which so far has allowed more than 200 ships laden with critical cargo to pass through.
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