Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond planned to set sail from Portsmouth this week as storms block Type 45 destroyer from joining Nato forces amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

THE Royal Navy is planning on HMS Diamond to set sail from Portsmouth this week.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 11:56 am

The Type 45 destroyer’s departure was delayed three times last week, mainly due to adverse weather conditions.

She is set to join up with HMS Trent in the eastern Mediterranean and support Nato forces, as tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed rough plans for her departure this week.

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HMS Diamond's departure from Portsmouth was delayed three times last week, but the MoD have confirmed rough plans for her to set sail. Picture: Alison Treacher.

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He said: 'Sailing has been postponed until Wednesday at the earliest due to the weather.’

Conditions caused by Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin have halted HMS Diamond’s posting.

It was confirmed last Thursday that the £1bn vessel will be assigned to aid allied forces.

A spokesman from the MoD said: ‘She’ll be supporting a Nato task force in the Eastern Mediterranean region.’

In the meantime, peace talks between Nato allies and Russia have failed to materialise, with one minister warning an invasion of Ukraine remains a ‘very credible threat.’

This poor omen was given after US president Joe Biden agreed to hold a crisis summit with Vladimir Putin, on the condition that Moscow does not launch an invasion.

Business minister Paul Scully said Russia has amassed 7,000 extra troops on the Ukrainian border within the past few days.

He told Sky News: ‘So there is a very, very credible threat and that’s why we’ve got to continue to be vigilant, we’ve got to continue to work with Ukraine and Poland, as Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, was doing just this week.’

Mr Scully added the ‘loss of life will be horrendous’ if Mr Putin does not engage in diplomacy, sought to broker a meeting during a series of calls.

Boris Johnson signalled the prospect of Mr Putin being ‘might still be willing to engage in finding a diplomatic solution’ as a ‘welcome sign’.

Although, Downing Street’s account of the Prime Minister’s own call with Mr Macron, during the diplomatic flurry over the weekend, did not appear overly optimistic about the prospect of a Russia climbdown.

A statement from Downing Street said the leaders ‘underscored the need for President Putin to step back from his current threats and withdraw troops from Ukraine’s border.’

Heavy shelling in Ukraine continued on Monday in the heightened tension between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels in the Donbas region.

Mr Johnson and other Western allies have suggested the shelling was part of a ‘false flag’ attempt by the Russians to stage a pretext to attack.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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