Portsmouth ship HMS Trent conducting patrols in eastern Mediterranean with Nato amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

A PORTSMOUTH ship is currently on patrols with Nato amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 7:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 7:57 pm

Warship HMS Trent has already begun conducting patrols in the eastern Mediterranean sea alongside allies from Canada, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

It comes as the UK is doubling the number of personnel in Estonia and sending additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

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Crew on HMS Trent as it leaves Portsmouth on 31 March 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Royal Welsh battlegroup, which includes armoured vehicles and personnel, will leave Sennelager in Germany and bases in the UK and begin to arrive in Estonia during the coming week. Apache helicopters will soon be making their way to conduct exercises with allies and partners in Eastern Europe.

Four additional UK Typhoon jets have also landed in Cyprus and will shortly begin to patrol the skies with Nato allies in Eastern Europe.

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.

‘Nato and our allies have been clear that an invasion of Ukraine will be met with severe consequences.’

‘De-escalation and diplomacy remain the only path out of this situation.’

The Royal Navy has confirmed destroyer HMS Diamond, which is currently based in Portsmouth, will be leaving the city tomorrow to join HMS Trent having been ‘expected to depart’ tonight.

On Friday (Feb 11) the foreign, commonwealth and development office advised all British nationals to leave Ukraine immediately while commercial travel was still available.

Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite massing more than 100,000 troops near the border.

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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