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US patrol boats head to Black Sea as Ukraine raises fear of Russian attack Ukraine | Russia
View of the Dardanelles taken from the Landsat 7 satellite in September 2006. (Image Credit: wikipedia.org)

US patrol boats head to Black Sea as Ukraine raises fear of Russian attack

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 21 Nov 2021, 08:38 am

Kyiv: The US has sent a ship with two Island-class patrol boats for the Ukrainian port of Odessa on November 8 days after it expressed fears of a possible Russian attack, media reports said.

According to a Reuters report, Ukrainian sailors have already undergone extensive training on the vessels in the United States. Ukraine got two similar vessels in 2019.

The ship transited the Dardanelles strait on Saturday, the report said.

The two new boats are part of a security package to Ukraine worth over $2.5 billion since 2014, the year when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and Russian-backed separatists seized a swath of eastern Ukraine, the US embassy in Kyiv says, stated the report.

The United States, Ukraine and NATO have accused Russia of building up troops close to Ukraine, which they perceive as a threat.

However, Russia has refuted the allegations and asserted that right to move its troops anywhere it wants on its own territory and is not planning to attack anyone.

The Kremlin said in September that NATO would cross a Russian red line if it expanded military infrastructure in Ukraine.

After Russia annexed Crimea, Kiev has lost most of its naval power in the black sea.

Last summer, the US State Department ratified the potential sale to Ukraine of up to 16 Mark VI patrol boats and equipment for an estimated $600 million.

Ukraine, which strives to be a NATO member, is heavily relying on the grouping to rebuild its navy.