A Ukrainian frigate, the URS Ternopil, is now actively supporting Operation Active Endeavour, NATO’s maritime counter-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean, through till the end of June, according to the NATO web site.
The North Atlantic Council – NATO’s principal decision-making body – authorised the Ukrainian ship’s participation on 25 May, after it had successfully completed a couple of weeks of “force integration training” with NATO. To prepare for the operation, the URS Ternopil also underwent "mission-oriented training" in the Mediterranean in November 2006.
Ukraine`s active support for Operation Active Endeavour is a demonstration of its determination to cooperate with the Allies in the fight against terrorism. The deployment of a second corvette, the URS Lutsk, is expected in autumn. A third vessel, the frigate URS Sagaidachnyi, is expected to be deployed in 2008.
An exchange of letters between NATO and Ukraine in April 2005 paved the way for preparations for Ukraine’s support for the operation. Experts from Allied military commands visited the Ukrainian Navy Headquarters at Sevastopol several times this year to assess progress in the training of Ukrainian personnel in NATO standard procedures and communications.
Operation Active Endeavour is part of NATO’s maritime contribution to the fight against terrorism. Launched in October 2001, it continues to conduct surveillance and monitoring operations of the major shipping lanes of the Mediterranean. To date, Active Endeavour units have conducted over 110 compliant boardings of merchant vessels at sea.
NATO decided in 2004 to enlist the support of Partner countries, Mediterranean Dialogue countries and other selected nations. Russia became the first Partner to support the operation with a ship in September 2006.