Poroshenko boasts of being NATO’s eastern flank, gets two PT boats for Azov naval base from US

The Sea of Azov, world's shallowest, is no place for larger warships

Poroshenko speaking to US Coast Guard
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Compiled and translated from multiple sources

On Thursday, September 27, in Baltimore, the Americans handed Poroshenko two old boats of the Island class to fight “Russian aggression.”

President of Ukraine Poroshenko, during a visit to the US Coast Guard base in Baltimore, as part of his working visit to the United States of America, called Ukraine the eastern flank of NATO.

In addition, he noted “the utmost importance of the transfer of two Coast Guard “Island” Class patrol boats to the Ukrainian Navy”, according to the press service of the presidential administration of Ukraine.

“Ukraine is the de facto eastern flank of NATO, and this gesture of support has strengthened the defense cooperation between our countries,” Poroshenko said and called it “a confirmation of how important Ukraine is for the future of the entire free world.”

“The first two boats of the Island class will become another brick in strengthening the naval alliance between the Ukrainian and American peoples,” Poroshenko said in Facebook.

In person, at the handover event in Baltimore, Poroshenko boasted that Ukraine has received more than $ 1 billion from the United States since 2014 “to strengthen its defense capabilities.”

“To date, we have received more than $ 1 billion from the US to support security. We appreciate the recent decision of the US Congress to increase this assistance. This supports our military allocations, which already exceeded 6% of GDP, “Poroshenko said.

Background items:

  • On September 27, the House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the allocation of $ 250 million for the military needs of Ukraine.
  • On September 19, the decision to provide military assistance to Ukraine was approved by the US Senate.
  • As previously reported, Ukraine has filed a request to Washington for the purchase of American air defense systems.
  • Next year the “defense” budget of Ukraine will be about 200 billion hryvnia. This was stated on August 27 by NSDC Secretary Alexander Turchinov during the meeting on the formation of the defense budget for 2019.
  • On August 1, the US Senate approved the budget for military assistance to Ukraine.

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“Island” denotes a class of high-speed patrol boats for the US Coast Guard, designed for patrolling and search and rescue operations in coastal waters. They have a two-shaft diesel power plant with a capacity of 5,280 hp. (3,940 kW), which provides a speed of up to 29.5 knots (54.6 km / h).

The length of the hull is 33.53 m, width – 6.4 m, draft – 2 m, displacement – 165 tons.

Personnel: up to 18 sailors, including 3 officers. On board are- 25-mm automatic artillery, Mk 38 Mod 0 Bushmaster and two 12.7 mm machine guns M2NV.

On September 23, it became known that the ship of the Ukrainian naval command “Donbass” and the tug “Korets” entered the exclusive economic zone of Russia off the coast of the Crimean peninsula.

Later, during the same day, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Poltorak reported that the ships were heading for the Crimean bridge to form the fleet base in the Azov Sea.

September 24, Ukrainian MP Vinnik told details on the establishment of the Ukrainian Navy base in the Azov Sea.

September 16, it was reported that the Ukrainian authorities intend to create a naval base on the Azov Sea by the end of 2018.

The day before, Ukrainian President Poroshenko accused the Russian Federation of blocking ship calls in the Sea of Azov with a view to occupying the Avov Sea.

In addition, in September it was reported that Ukraine decided to increase its military presence in the Azov and Black Seas by sending 270 maritime special forces fighters there.

On September 13, the Ukrainian Armed Forces strengthened the army grouping in the Azov direction.

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