The UK will lead a multinational Maritime Training Initiative for the Ukrainian Navy, boosting their ability to combat threats in the Black Sea, UK Defence Secretary has announced.
During a visit to Kyiv, Ben Wallace said Britain will send Royal Navy ships to the region later in the fall to train alongside the Ukrainian navy.
“The Maritime Training Initiative is another step forward for the U.K.’s defense relationship with Ukraine,” Wallace said. “We have already assisted thousands of Ukrainian personnel in a plethora of skills ranging from basic first aid to operational planning, all of which defends their territorial integrity from Russian-backed separatists.” Wallace added.
According to the British Defense Ministry, the Maritime Training Initiative will enable closer collaboration with the NATO Alliance and Armed Forces around the world, and allow Britain to build on Ukraine’s new NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status.
The Ministry of Defense will increase its support to the Armed Forces of Ukraine by coordinating an international maritime training package that will include courses from the Royal Navy, as well as naval personnel from Sweden, Canada and Denmark.
The courses will cover areas such as navigation, operational planning, military diving, sea surveillance, fire-fighting and damage control.
During his visit to Kyiv, Wallace met with Ukrainian defense minister Andriy Taran and Ukrainian commander-in-chief Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak to discuss regional security and areas of mutual interest and cooperation.
The strengthening UK-Ukraine defence relationship has seen the UK support Ukraine in its process of conducting vital defence and security sector reform. A Special Defence Advisor has been deployed to Ukraine to assist in this process, which has also been aided by UK representation on the country’s Defence Reform Advisory Board (DRAB), General Sir Gordon Messenger.