Two warships of the British Navy are headed to the Black Sea in May in solidarity with Ukraine and may bolster (anti-access/area denial) A2/AD zone around Ukraine.
“The Type 45 destroyer, armed with anti-aircraft missiles, as well as the Type 23 anti-submarine frigate, will separate from the British aircraft carrier group in the Mediterranean and pass through the Bosphorus Strait to the Black Sea,” said a Sunday Times report.
The report says that to support the two ships, the flagship of the aircraft carrier group Queen Elizabeth will be on standby, on board which are Anti Submarine Warefare helicopters and F35B fighter-bombers. The aircraft carrier will remain in the Mediterranean Sea, as the presence of such vessels in the Black Sea is not permitted by international agreement.
“The deployment of boats to Ukraine’s coast is intended to show solidarity with Kyiv and NATO ‘s regional allies after President Biden decided to cancel sending two US warships to the Black Sea, fearing an escalating crisis as Russia builds up troops,” the Sunday Times said.
Ukrainian News sources had earlier reported the US Navy has sent two Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers into the Black Sea. The two ships will remain off the coast of Ukraine until May 4 and 5, under the Montreux Convention, which restricts the presence of non-Black Sea warships in the region. The US Navy’s deployment of the two missile destroyers can significantly change the balance of power in the region, thanks to the possibility of creating a so-called A2/AD-zone – Anti Access /Area Denial. This will ensure that the enemy cannot move without heavy losses.
The US has however cancelled the deployment of USS Roosevelt and USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea, but the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on 15th April that Ankara had received only a verbal confirmation from the United States about this. US and non Black Sea rim nations have to inform Turkey as it controls the Bosporus Strait through which the ships have to pass to enter the Black Sea.
Both Russia and NATO have accused each other of amassing troops and weaponry near Russian borders.