UK warships to sail for Black Sea next month: Report

LONDON • British warships will sail for the Black Sea next month amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Britain's The Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing senior naval sources.

The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and Britain's Nato allies, the newspaper reported.

A Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, said the report.

The Royal Air Force's F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the task group's flag ship, the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships in the Black Sea, it added.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been rising amid a build-up of Russian troops along the border and clashes in eastern Ukraine between the army and pro-Russian separatists.

Officials at the British Ministry of Defence were not immediately available for comment.

A ministry spokesman told the newspaper that the British government was working closely with Ukraine to monitor the situation and continued to call on Russia to de-escalate the situation.

The newspaper quoted the spokesman as saying: "The UK and our international allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2021, with the headline 'UK warships to sail for Black Sea next month: Report'. Subscribe