Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond's departure from Portsmouth to aid in Russia-Ukraine tensions delayed for the third time

A PORTSMOUTH warship’s departure from the city to assist Nato amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine has been delayed for the third time due to poor weather.

Thursday, 17th February 2022, 10:55 am
Updated Thursday, 17th February 2022, 2:42 pm

The Royal Navy have confirmed HMS Diamond will not set sail until early next week.

She was due to depart at midday today (Feb 17), but adverse weather has stopped those plans.

This is the third time the type-45 destroyer has been left at port, with voyages set yesterday and at 7am this morning postponed.

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Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond has been delayed from leaving Portsmouth for the third time due to poor weather. Picture: LA(Phot) Al Macleod/Royal Navy.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said: ‘No departure for HMS Diamond today due to the weather.

‘She is not likely to sail until early next week.’

HMS Diamond was set to join Nato forces, alongside HMS Trent, in the eastern Mediterranean amid growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Earlier today, a spokesman from the MOD said: ‘HMS Diamond is due to leave Portsmouth today at 12pm.

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Portsmouth ship HMS Trent conducting patrols in eastern Mediterranean with Nato ...

‘She’ll be supporting a Nato task force in the Eastern Mediterranean region.’

The £1bn vessel was also due to leave Portsmouth Naval Base yesterday evening, before being rescheduled two more times.

Portsmouth based warship, HMS Trent, has started patrolling the eastern Mediterranean sea, with allies from Canada, Italy, Spain and Turkey accompanying her.

The UK is also sending extra tanks and vehicles to Estonia, as well as doubling the number of military personnel in the country.

Four Typhoon jets have landed in Cyprus, aiming to patrol the skies over Eastern Europe with Nato allies.

More than 100,000 Russian soldiers have massed on the Ukraine border, although the Kremlin denies any prospect of an invasion.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘Alongside our Nato allies, we are deploying troops and assets on land, sea and air to bolster European defences in response to the build-up of Russian military forces on the border of Ukraine.’

Last Friday, the foreign, commonwealth and development office advised any British nationals in the country to leave immediately, as commercial travel is still available.

At a press conference last week, between Boris Johnson and Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, Mr Johnson said Europe is in the grip of its deepest security crisis in decades.

The prime minister warned of ‘serious bloodshed’ if an invasion took place.

Although Russia claimed to have pulled back some troops from the border, which Nato described as giving them ‘cautious optimism’, diplomatic talks are ongoing.

Dr Paul Flenley, a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Portsmouth, and expert in Russian foreign policy, doesn’t see diplomatic talks progressing.

He told The News: ‘There is an impasse really.

‘From the west point of view, there is not going to be any change to the invitation for Ukraine to join Nato, which is one of the demands of Vladimir Putin.

‘There is also not going to be any withdrawal of Nato troops from former Soviet states.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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