Two ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in Odesa, Ukraine this week for a routine port visit.

Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto and Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria arrived in Odesa after patrolling in the Black Sea with fellow SNMG2 ships for the last several days. While in Odesa, the ship captains will meet with local military and elected officials, work with Ukrainian Navy personnel and welcome local Ukrainian civilians aboard during scheduled open ship periods, say NATO.

Image via NATO.

Following the visit to Odesa, HMCS Toronto plans to conduct a Passing Exercise with Ukrainian Navy ships in the Black Sea to enhance interoperability among Allied and Partner nation ships.

Three Allied nations border the Black Sea, and NATO regularly conducts exercises and operations in the Black Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive readiness.

This is the second patrol of a Standing NATO Group in the Black Sea in 2019, Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) spent approximately 20 days patrolling in the Black Sea in February visiting Varna, Bulgaria and participating in mine hunting exercise Poseidon.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea.

Patrols by NATO Maritime Groups increased in 2018 to three patrols for each group for a total of 120 days of NATO Group presence over the year, compared to two patrols for each group and a total of 80 days in 2017, say the Alliance.

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Good Moaning.



At last! Thought we had all emigrated and given up.

captain P Wash

Good afternoon !

I’m just wondering how long this thread will take to turn Into either a Food Related discussion or a Political one !!!!!!

Not long I fear…just needs someone to light the fuse!!

captain P Wash

Guy Fawkes would get my Vote !!!!!!



A modern day version of this is sorely needed!

And before anyone rings the anti terrorist hotline I am of course jesting, but the sentiment is all too real.

captain P Wash

Daniele, I wasn’t !!!!!!!

Looks like someone tried to Drown them all Yesterday !!!!


No I’m guessing RGR is at the dentist, TH is under his bridge and everyone is contemplating the interesting and delicate relations between NATO and Moscow but are currently lost for words.

On the mark, actually mark! I did not want to start things off on this tricky subject so I thought I’d poke my head over the parapet with an Ello Ello post.

Better than no comments at all.

But seeming as you’re here, what is your opinion on NATO involvement in Ukraine?


NATO is in a difficult position as all sides know. The aim must be to deter conflict. Arming Ukraine might inflame the situation and yet putting troops on the ground might or might not get support. Russia must know that they risk conflict with the west if they continue to bully their neighbours. Even if NATO does not get directly involved Russia will be made to pay a significant price in some form. There are better ways forward for Russia. Now is their time to extend the hand of friendship.

I agree it is a difficult situation. I also feel that while Ukraine has a right to be friendly with the west, we, the west, would be wise to be wary of where we tread. That means positioning ourselves on Russia’s doorstep. Then scratching our heads wondering why the Bear reacts as it does. I also like to remind people of the image of NATO getting involved in what Russia sees as its backyard is not going to go down well in Moscow, with the politicians or with the general populance. For comparison – lets imagine Switzerland getting friendly with… Read more »


Interesting points. Not sure that Ireland want anything more than a couple of hundred years of quiet independence. A hostile invasion of Ireland or indeed an independent Scotland might well place us in a difficult position but I am not sure this has not already been thought of.

Of course they don’t Mark!

My points on them were purely hypothetical.
People here react with outrage whenever a Blackjack gets within 100 miles or a Russian vessel sails down the channel headed to the Med yet happily ignore the reality of NATO hardware or supporting nations moving to within range of Moscow and somehow think the Russians won’t react in exactly the way we do!


I accepted your points and understood they were hypothetical I was just moving on. You seem very worried by the risk of conflict however NATO has been dealing with this since 49. Both sides know the messages each other are sending and what the limits are. Providing nobody attempts to push the envelope thing should be fine. Neither side appear to be looking for conflict just playing the (dangerous) game.

Understood and agreed.

Thank you mark.


Well eat we forget Russians ships have refuelled in Spain and Italy is breaking ranks with the rest by cosying up to Moscow quite alarmingly. Yes I don’t see very much in reality of outrage on the streets. Equally is the Baltic also considered their backyard? After all most of it does not have a shoreline with Russia yet they have no problem having war-games even with the Chinese and buzzing foreign jets there. I agree we have to exercise caution but at the same time Russia doesn’t give a damn about Western sensibilities and it has become so prevalent… Read more »

To be fair Spy that is fair comment.

So what is the answer. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

Was not aware of Italy and Russia, thanks.


“one can only imagine the reaction if for instance under the pretexts that Russia used we invaded Eire on the basis that we ruled it for much of the last thousand years.”

I think Russian involvement in Crimea and Ukraine has a lot to do with ethnic Russians living there. And we did do that, we partitioned Ireland and took the bit where the population see themselves as British.

On that basis Russia partitioning Ukraine and taking Crimea should be fine according to us.


One point that seems to be missed, Ukraine had a coup, Donbass never supported this and don’t agree with it, they have no representatives in Kiev and get no vote in elections


A coup?lets not forget the Russian poisoning of the ukraine leader Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko, coup? only in your Russian state owned media world, most of the ukraine people wanted to go west and not have decades of Russian influence on the ukraine with no future and as I said before Russias economy is desperate at the moment looks like they made the right decision.


Yes Dave, I understand many in Ukraine wanted to look west, that is their right, the people of Donbass didn’t, look at actions of Kiev government towards them after coup. Makes little difference now, there has been to much death and no political solution anymore. Not sure why you think Russian economy is desperate, growth is slow but ok, reserves are growing, internal investment is growing, debt is low, we are still a developing economy, it is going to take another 10 years to fix mistake of communists. Sorry, I cannot argue with you today, about to catch flight home


Yes a coup Dave, are you honestly saying it didn’t happen? Even after wikileaks, all the leaked emails, even the transcript for the leaked Nuland-Pyatt call is on the BBC website right now. Even after all the evidence is staring you in the face, you could go to a library and read a shit load of books about the CIA and regime change since WW2, you still can’t bring your mind to accept that we might be up to no good, we also do bad things to get what we want, we might actually be the bad guys who started… Read more »

Meiron X

To Ulya,
It was Not a coup, a coup is like changing of the guard. I was a popular uprising!
The Euromaidan revolution was a popular revolt of the people of Ukraine, against the corrupt and treading autocratic government of Victor Yanukovych. Russia should have respected the will of the Ukraine people. Russia should put on trial Victor Yanukovych for his crimes, maybe in a third country.


Well if Russia see it right to put troops on the ground in Venezuela to prop up another failing dictatorship I dont see the problem NATO arming and training the ukraine troops. I dont think Russia would push for more ground in the ukraine and I dont think they can afford to.


Exactly there is a lot of hypocrisy in these matters on both sides. Russia has been interfering in South America for decades well beyond Cuba. Of course the latter in any moral sense isn’t helped by the fact the US engineered the US/Spanish war just so that they could exercise their own power there (and other places) previously. Odd behaviour for a power that was so ‘superficially’ against colonisation in simply replacing one with another. Britain used such methods before them of course.


Ulya, I do expect that kind of reply from you but you are only lying to yourself, heres a example from a report by state statistics agency Rosstat. It found that a third of households polled could not afford two pairs of shoes per person, per year. The data also revealed that 80% of Russian families found it difficult to make ends meet. The survey actually indicates a slight improvement in some areas of family finances. But its stark headline figures – and Mr Peskov’s annoyance – have captured attention, suggesting that officials are out of touch with everyday reality.… Read more »


And Britain is the land of milk and honey isn’t it Dave, with thousands lining up at food banks for tins of beans. You should walk through my town centre on a Saturday morning, you would wish you were freezing your balls off in Siberia.


Sorry Sole you lost your credibility with me with your theorie that the Uk goverment was behind the Novichoks attacks lol!! yes all countries have poverty of course but uk living standards are far better than Russia ,so if you love putin so much why dont you move to Russia and freeze your balls off , maybe uyla might take you in.

Meiron X

What town center is that?
You need a referral to access food from a foodbank in the UK.
You just cannot walk into a foodbank without proof of need!


Once again, not for the first time in the space of a couple of days, you’ve challenged me talking complete shit. There are over 2000 food banks in the U.K. the official ones, which there are hundreds, you get referred to from a charity or citizens advice. But there are also hundreds of independent food banks across the country run by churches or community centres which you don’t need refered to by anybody, some have criteria to get food but quite a lot don’t. But just out of interest, how did you get to that from me saying “with thousands… Read more »

Meiron X

I am just challenging Your grim view of Britain! Living standards in Britain are among the highest in the world, compared to the majority of the world’s countries including Russia. I am not saying it is perfect here, but certainly standards are less perfect in places such as Venezuela. Which is an example of socialism gone wrong!


Could you please share link Dave, be interested to read, thank you


No link Dave? I come back and look tomorrow, maybe you will find it. Do research on Ukraine coup, maybe look at story of 42 anti coup people who got burned to death in Odessa by pro coup, maybe you will start to see there are 2 sides to everything. Enjoy your weekend


Dont need a link Ulya all you need to do is google it after all it is a Russian state survey or has putin censored Russias internet that badly , it wouldnt surprise me lol. But to be honest even when the facts are in your face you Russians still deny it , enjoy your sunday.


Good morning Dave, couldn’t find the article you quoted from but did find some interesting ones, some of the figures contradict each other so I need to do more research tonight, happy to share if you can’t translate from Cyrillic. I don’t seem to have any trouble finding anything I want on the net, maybe Putin has stopped doing evil deeds and unblocked the net. Did you research Ukraine coup? As I said, maybe make it easier to understand why we have different views and will make our conversations much easier if we both have an open mind. Also do… Read more »

Captain P Wash

OMG, LOL, RAOTFLMFHO, are just a few of my Thoughts.

This is one sources of many Ulya ,I cant see why you have much trouble finding it, as I said it is Rosstat a Russian gov survey after all lol!! research on russias economy ? you are not even in the top ten of nations in GDP

captain P Wash

Russia has built 475 new Bases in the past 6 years, including the Arctic.

Kind of makes you wonder though.

That’s interesting Cap.

Where did you read that? And where are they?

captain P Wash

CNN, There Is a Report and Video of some of the Bases.

I look at Breaking News 24/7, Janes, Defense news and Flight on a regular basis and then come here to enjoy the Banter.

Well I believe I’d read the USA has around 600 bases worldwide, and we have just opened one in the Middle East, and are talking of opening others.

The USA has bases that surround Russia from the west to the east, excluding the frozen seas north of Russia, where Recon aircraft and submarines lurk instead.

Do we not think the Russians might also be wondering…or looking at getting even?

captain P Wash

Yes I Do, I share your Views on our actions regarding Russia. I also find RT News to be a great source of Counter opinion and argument.

I have absolutely nothing against any Russian person but I do worry at times about their ruler.
Just like I worry about Ours.

If someone here get’s Into a Tit for Tat argument, It can all escalate very quickly, It’s Human Nature not to back down, that’s why I never argue !!!!

“that’s why I never argue !!!!”

Course not. Pugwash the Appeaser, that’s you.

Where is RGR anyway? He’s usually around when you are, oddly.

Captain P Wash

Lol, I don’t know i’ve never met the chap. reckon he gold a bit sulky after getting told off this morning ! Hopefully he’ll be back In a while after all It is Friday and It’ll soon be Happy hour on here and TH Is Back and Hero might make a reappearence and and ermm, oh i’ve got a bit too excited.

“Pugwash the Appeaser” I like that DM, has a certain ring to It.

Captain P Wash

It also rhymes with ” Malteaser ”

Another Favourite !


I missed that. Told off? Really?

Better than “Pugwash the Abhorrent!”


Ah…you mean by the boss…right.

Captain P Wash

Yup. But I hope he doesn’t take It personally. I’d hate to have only the one Acolyte !!!!!

Captain P Wash

“Pugwash the Abhorrent” was from the “Dark Side” of the Family !

We don’t mention him, If we can help It.

Captain P Wash

Nor ” Pugwash the Abnormal ” or his brother ” Pugwash the Antagonistic ” .

A whole Tribe, or maybe ships company!

Captain P Wash

Faction, more like.

And I ain’t even started on the Women of the Family.

Miss Pugwasher the Argumentative.
Grandma Pugwasher the Anglian and her Acolytes.
Grandson Seaman Staines and His Cousin Roger the Cabin Boy and I’m not even going there with the Bates side of the Family.

Well, not until the Watershed !!!!

Ivan Kalot

wee iz grapeful ov ass istanz frome nato an canadions an scoutlandbowts wiv big gunny bang bangs az theyyr pocking eyez ov rusky shortie bloke wiv smoove bonse an altitude agast us.
wee iz hoppin to bee onn sides ov westin loves an helps frome boaties an wooshie birdys and bombybits.

Captain P Wash

Ummm Ermmm What ?

I can’t be arsed to translate that lot, It must be someone Els’s turn.

where’s Ulya ? She’ll know.


I cannot translate that captain.


The issues in the Ukraine are much more complicated than what many in the West actually know or can understand. I spent several years in the Ukraine working on a project involving communication infrastructure. Whilst there I learnt some of the history of the country and noticed the issues between the population. There are several groups Ukranians, Russians, Cossack making up the three main groups, each with there own language and culture but more importantly is the inherent disdain by the Ukrainians of the Russians. I knew many Ukrainians who spent time in gulags because they wanted there freedom, many… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Hello Ron, That’s very Interesting and Extremely educational but I have to question your 30 million Deaths figure.