The State Border Guard Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine prepared a set of measures aimed at strengthening military positions in the Black and Azov Seas. The head of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, Petro Tsyhykal, told the Ukrainian Channel 5 that the border guards had already erected five observation towers on the coast of the Sea of Azov, which will soon be equipped with the necessary means of audiovisual control.
“Now five towers have already been built on the coast of the Azov Sea, which during the year will be equipped with modern means of visual and radio control. These facilities will be integrated into the overall system and will help us fully control the sea border,” said Tsyhykal.
The head of the department stressed the importance of the “control system for the sea surface situation” and clarified that the ultimate goal is to create powerful and mobile border ships and boat groups in the Azov and Black Seas. Tsyhykal said that these groups would have to promptly and efficiently perform both law enforcement functions and counteract military threats at the initial stage of the armed conflict.
According to Tsyhykal, the next stage in strengthening positions will be the acquisition of twenty-two modern patrol ships from France, which is discussed with the assistance of the Interior Ministry. In addition, several repaired old boats, the Donbas ship and the Ukrainian-made UMS-1000 cutter with improved driving characteristics will start work on the sea borders.
Kyiv announced about the strengthening of the border fleet in the Azov Sea after the incident in the Kerch Strait, when a group of the Ukrainian Navy boats attempted to pass from the Black Sea to Mariupol and was attached by the Russian Navy.
As a result of the conflict, three ships were shot at and detained by Russian border guards, more than twenty Ukrainian sailors were arrested.