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UK Defence Minister affirms support to Black Sea security

The UK’s commitment to European security was reaffirmed by Defence Minister Minto on a visit to Bulgaria yesterday (15 April).

  • Defence Minister Minto represented the UK at the Black Sea Security Conference in Bulgaria.
  • Minto affirmed the UK’s unwavering support to Ukraine and European security.
  • Conference discussed cooperation in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and aggression in the Black Sea. 

Attending the Black Sea Security Conference in Sofia alongside allies and partners, Minto represented the UK - a leading partner for Ukraine and other Black Sea states.

The conference was convened to promote cooperation and military capacity building in the face of Russia’s continued threat to stability in the Black Sea region. The conference aims to enhance the collaboration between the Black Sea states and partners in response to Putin’s aggression and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The UK’s leadership of the Maritime Capability Coalition, announced by UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps in December 2023, was discussed during the conference as a means to grow Ukraine’s maritime capability now and in the long term.

Defence Minister, The Earl of Minto yesterday said:

One of many things that the UK and Bulgaria have in common is our steadfast support to Ukraine in the face of Putin’s barbaric invasion.

The UK and our allies and partners will continue to work together to give Ukraine what they need to defeat Russia and restore peace and security to the Black Sea region.

The UK’s commitment to modernise Ukraine’s Navy is demonstrated by the transfer of two former Royal Navy vessels to Ukraine, which arrived in Portsmouth last week.

In addition to maritime support, the Minister also set out the extensive package of military aid that the UK has provided to Ukraine to date, including £7 billion of funding, training of over 60,000 Ukrainian recruits, and donation of thousands of pieces of equipment to date.

The need to continue to back Ukraine to ensure they defeat Putin to restore peace and security in Europe was highlighted during the conference, which was attended by Ukrainian representatives.

While standing with Ukraine, the UK continues to support regional security, deploying Typhoons to Romania at the start of the month to conduct NATO Air Policing patrols, keeping the skies in the Black Sea region safe. Separately, thousands of UK Armed Forces are deploying on NATO Exercise Steadfast Defender across Europe this year.

While in Sofia, the Minister met Bulgarian Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov, to discuss shared security challenges and defence priorities. The Minister also met Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, Tochytskyi Mykola.


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