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UK and Norway create new maritime coalition for Ukraine

A coalition will provide ships and other naval aid which aims to boost Ukraine’s security in the Black Sea region.
Two Sandown-Class Minehunters. Credit: Naval News

The UK and Norway will co-lead a Maritime Capability Coalition, providing ships and transport to enhance Ukraine’s ability to operate at sea, the British Ministry of Defence announced on 11 December.

The new association of the UK and Norway will supply ships and other means to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Strengthening Ukraine’s naval capabilities, including countering the threat from Russian sea mines, will help resume Ukraine’s sea exports, said the statement.

UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps is to confirm the supply of two ships for demining – Sandown-class minesweepers – alongside his Norwegian counterpart Bjørn Arild Gram.

The new coalition will also provide long-term support to Ukraine, including training, equipment and infrastructure to enhance security in the Black Sea.

“Defending Ukraine is important for Euro-Atlantic security. We must assist Ukraine in reopening trade routes and enabling free movement in the Black Sea. We aim to strengthen Ukraine’s naval defense capabilities and improve Ukraine’s ability to operate along its coastline,” said Norway’s Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram, adding that this is a long-term project and support will require a lot of work over many years.

Norway and the UK have been supporting Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Recently, the Norwegian government announced the provision of 1 billion Norwegian krone ($89 million) for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The funds are to go toward helping Ukrainians who have lost their homes due to the war, as well as providing education, medical services, psychological support, and civilian protection. Earlier, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of Norway Even Eriksen said Oslo was ready to assist Ukraine in the treatment and rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers.

On November 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron met in Kyiv. Cameron said there was “a strong argument for seizing frozen Russian assets worth nearly $350 billion and using them to rebuild Ukraine.” Earlier in the summer, Britain announced a new sanctions package against Belarus for its role in facilitating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Earlier in the summer, Britain announced a new sanctions package against Belarus for its role in facilitating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including import bans and new measures aimed at preventing internet propaganda.

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