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Ukraine can protect maritime corridor for civilian vessels by almost 100% with F-16 - Navy

5 July, 2024 Friday
16:50

As Ukraine is expected to receive F-16 fighter jets soon, it will be able to defend the northwestern part of the Black Sea, including the maritime corridor for civilian vessels

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Ukrainian Navy Commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa said this in an interview with Reuters.

According to him, the delivery of American F-16s to Ukraine, which is expected to take place soon, will be an incentive to challenge Russia's "complete domination" of the skies over the Black Sea.

"F-16s with the right armaments will be able to push away Russian warplanes. The northwestern part of the Black Sea, particularly the corridor for civilian ships, will be almost 100% secure," he said.

At the same time, the Ukrainian Navy commander emphasized that Kyiv would like to expand the shipping corridor, which currently allows cargo to be transported from the three main ports of Odesa. Ukraine wants the corridor to also cover Mykolaiv and Kherson ports. However, this is impossible because Russia controls the Kinburn Spit.

Neizhpapa noted that civilian vessels in some areas are accompanied by patrol boats to help protect them from mines, with air defense providing cover for both ports and corridors.

Reuters adds that over the past six months, the volume of maritime traffic through the corridor has stabilized - Ukraine transports two convoys of ships daily, compared to one in 2023.

  • On June 27, it was reported that 55 million tons of cargo had been transported over the 10 months of the Ukrainian sea corridor's operation, a record amount of cargo.
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