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Ukraine ratifies deal with UK to boost navy

January 27, 2022 8:29 pmby Illia Ponomarenko
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The United Kingdom is to provide Ukraine with a 1.7 billion pounds loan to help Ukraine build up its maritime power. (Ukraine's navy)

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has ratified a deal to get a loan worth $2.3 billion (1.7 billion pounds) from the United Kingdom and procure warships and key naval infrastructure.

The bill was supported by 236 lawmakers in the final voting on Jan. 27.

The deal particularly envisages financing a British investment project to provide Ukraine with two minesweeping vessels, as well as to ensure their maintenance and transferring. Earlier, the Royal Navy declared providing Ukraine with two decommissioned Sandown-class ships, HMS Blyth and HMS Ramsey, with the first vessels expected to be handed over in 2022.

The 10-year loan also finances the production of eight new gunboats, two of them being manufactured in Britain and the rest in Ukraine.

Besides, the agreement envisages a joint production of a frigate for Ukraine, as well as the support in installing new naval infrastructure.

It remains unclear whether the U.K. wants to manufacture a brand new Ukrainian frigate on its soil. According to numerous sources, it may invest in the production of half-constructed corvette Volodymyr Velykiy, a project that hasn't been completed in more than a decade due to poor financing.

The funding comes primarily from the U.K. Export Finance program, as well as various bank loans, according to Ukraine's military.

Illia Ponomarenko
Author: Illia Ponomarenko

Illia Ponomarenko is the defense and security reporter at the Kyiv Independent. He has reported about the war in eastern Ukraine since the conflict’s earliest days. He covers national security issues, as well as military technologies, production, and defense reforms in Ukraine. Besides, he gets deployed to the war zone of Donbas with Ukrainian combat formations. He has also had deployments to Palestine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an embedded reporter with UN peacekeeping forces. Illia won the Alfred Friendly Press Partners fellowship and was selected to work as USA Today's guest reporter at the U.S. Department of Defense.

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