Black Sea Tensions: UK Warship's Arrival in Ukraine 'Purely Symbolic' - Prof.

A British Royal Navy warship, the HMS Echo, arrived in the port of Ukraine's Odessa in what UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described as "sending a message" to Putin. It came weeks after Kerch Strait incident when the crews of the Ukrainian ships refused to establish communication and demands to stop voiced by Russian border guards.

Sputnik has discussed the arrival of the British Royal Navy warship in the Black Sea with Professor Anatol Lieven, an international politics expert at Georgetown University in Qatar.

Sputnik: Now, Moscow has called the British ship a spy ship, while the BBC said, the ship is used to collect data from the ocean. Wikipedia writes that her majesty's ship Echo is designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines, or amphibious operations. So, could the ship be used for spying and if so, why, in your view, is the BBC choosing to mislead its audience?  

Anatol Lieven:

I don't think that BBC is trying to mislead, as far as I can see. This ship has from what I understand, various capabilities. The important thing to note, however, that it's not actually a warship. It presumably has some kind of self-defence capability, but it's not a fighting ship. So, whatever the British government may say, its presence is purely symbolic. It indicates support and sympathy for Ukraine, but no NATO forces in the region are actually capable of doing anything.

Sputnik: Professor, in your opinion, is Moscow making a mistake by continuing to hold Ukrainian sh....

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