UK signs deal to back Ukrainian navy

During the visit to Ukraine, the UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has revealed that the two countries signed an Intergovernmental Framework Agreement last week in London.

The agreement is said to continue progress on joint projects to develop the capabilities of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, agreed in June when the UK and Ukraine and industry signed a Memorandum of Implementation to collaborate on expanding Ukraine’s naval capabilities.

In their joint statement, Wallace and Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov said that the UK and Ukraine are strategic partners in security and defence.

“Today’s meeting is the next stage in bilateral cooperation for enhancing Ukraine’s defence capabilities and increasing interoperability”, the statement said.

They also expressed their concern over Russia’s military build-up and activity around the borders of Ukraine and added that the governments have no desire to be adversarial, or seek in any way to strategically encircle or undermine the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, in their joint statement, Wallace and Reznkov emphasized that Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is indisputable.

“The United Kingdom stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will continue its long-standing determination to support them. We are unwavering in that support and together we remain vigilant and united in the defence of our common values and freedoms”, the statement concludes.

Earlier this year, the Ukrainian government revealed its three-stage plans to build a new naval fleet in three phases by 2035. As informed back then, one of the stages includes the construction of the naval base in Berdyansk for which the country will seek support from the European Union, the UK and the United States.

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Photo: Courtesy of the Ukrainian Navy