Is This Why Russia Shot At HMS Defender?

The Minister of State For Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and Ukraine's Security Secretary, Oleksiy Danilov, signed a coopeation agreemnet on HMS Defender this week. Image: MoD

Russian claims that it fired on HMS Defender which is in the Back Sea on a NATO mission come just two days after the UK signed an agreement to boost Ukraine’s naval capabilities onboard the warship.

BRITAIN and Ukraine inked a naval cooperation agreement on June 21 onboard the HMS Defender. The deal will include the development of a new naval base in the Sea of Avoz and eight hi-tech naval warships for Ukraine.

Russia has been meddling in Ukrainian affairs for more than a decade since the ex-Soviet country made a bid to sign a cooperation agreement that would bring it closer to the EU. In 2014 Russia annexed Crimea and has encouraged separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The June 21 agreement for the UK to bolster Ukraine’s naval capabilities was signed by Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Tony Radakin representing Britian and the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksandr Myroniuk.

The agreement includes the introduction of new capabilities through the delivery of new naval platforms and defensive shipborne armaments, the training of Ukrainian Navy personnel, the creation of new naval bases, and the purchase of two Sandown class mine countermeasure vessels.

The Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said, “The UK and Ukraine have a close defence relationship, and we continue to strengthen this partnership to help deter shared threats.

“I am delighted that British and Ukrainian industry will work together on these projects, which will provide world-leading capabilities and provide opportunities for both our nations to boost our shipbuilding enterprises,” he added.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said, “Ukraine and the UK are good friends and allies. Today’s Memorandum gives a new impetus to our co-operation in naval industry and will facilitate further development of the Ukrainian Navy. We appreciate the British support and value your experience.”

The deal is likely to have angered Moscow as it includes the following projects:

  • Missile sale and integration on new and in-service Ukrainian Navy patrol and airborne platforms, including a training and engineering support package.
  • The development and joint production of eight fast missile warships.
  • The creation of a new naval base on the Black Sea as the primary fleet base for Ukraine and a new base on the Sea of Azov.

During the visit by Ministers a trilateral exercise between the UK, Ukraine and the US took place on board the ship.

Today, June 23, the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed it had shot at HMS Defender because it had breached Russia’s territorial water.

The UK however swiftly denied an incident had taken place and said Russia was conducting regular exercises and did not fire at the warship.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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