During an address to border guards in Cherkasy, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that by the end of 2018, there will be a new sea guard system along the country’s entire coast, which will monitor the maritime border from Izmail on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, UNN reports.
“To protect Ukraine’s territory against an invasion from the sea, the relevant constituent is being expanded,” the head of state said.
He emphasized that the military drills which were held on the Azov coast at the start of the month showed him that the training of the marines, ground divisions of the Ukrainian army and border guards is at a high level. According to Poroshenko, a system of combat reserves has been established in the country, with powerful weapons and armored vehicles that are capable of covering threatening areas rapidly.
Since the start of the year, Kyiv has been augmenting its forces in the Sea of Azov. In September, the Pentagon announced its intentions to send Ukraine two of its Island-class patrol vessels. For a price of $9 million, the US will upgrade the boats, install electronic equipment on them, train a crew of 35, and deliver the boats to Ukraine. The US Defense Department noted that the boats will not have weapons. Vasyl Radchuk, head of the Ukrainian Navy’s shipbuilding department, said that the boats will be ready for use by the army in autumn next year.
On Monday, news came out that the US has offered to send Ukraine two decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. According to Ukrainian Naval Commander Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, the US decommissioned the frigates between 2013 and 2015.