OTTAWA - Canada has diverted a warship to help NATO reassure eastern European allies jittery over the Ukraine crisis.

The frigate HMCS Regina, currently on counter-terrorism and anti-piracy patrols in the Arabian Sea, will be redirected to take part in alliance operations meant to send a message of resolve to Russia.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the move in the House of Commons on Wednesday, but did not say where the ship is headed.

NATO announced earlier this month it was beefing up maritime patrols in both the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean as part of a deterrence package aimed at containing potential Russian ambitions.

A spokesperson for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson was unable to say where the warship will be going because NATO planning is still underway.

The ship deployed to the Indian Ocean on Jan. 6.

Six Canadian CF-18 jetfighters left their base in Bagotville, Que., on Tuesday, headed for an air base in Romania, and eventual patrols along that country's border with Ukraine — and possibly over the Black Sea.

National Defence also announced that a team of navy clearance divers would deploy next month for an exercise in Latvia, one of the Baltic states under threat.

The government also confirmed Wednesday that a Canadian military officer is heading an international arms-control verification team investigating so-called "unusual military activity" in the Ukraine. Three Canadians are assigned to the nine-member inspection team.

National Defence said in a statement that the team is working with Ukraine's central government to select locations for inspection but it will not include the disputed Crimea region, which was annexed by Russia.

The intent of the mission, which stems from a 2011 agreement, is to build military trust among European countries, especially those that had been in the former East Bloc.

The redirecting of HMCS Regina — with a crew of about 225 — comes as Ukraine's acting president conceded that the country's security forces are "helpless" to stem the unrest in two eastern regions bordering Russia.

Oleksandr Turchynov said his government's goal has changed and it now is simply trying to prevent the turmoil from spreading to other regions of the country.

Both the interim government in Kyiv and the West have accused Moscow of being behind the insurrection and protests. Canada, the U.S. and the European Union have all rolled out new sanctions against Russia.

New Democrat defence critic Jack Harris watched the new deployment with unease and said Canada has already made a meaningful contribution with its fighters.

"I don't think we should be trying to up the ante here in a military way," he said following question period. "We should be looking for ways to de-escalate, not escalate."

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  • An elderly man stands next a barricade near the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on April 22, 2014. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Mourners attend the funeral of men killed in a gunfight on April 20, 2014, in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, held on April 22, 2014. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Mourners keep watch outside the house of a pro-Russian activist after his remains were brought to his home in the small village of Aleksandrovka, following a funeral service on April 22, 2014 near Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russian militant looks out from the barricaded entrance of the city council building on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Commander of the so-called army of southeast Ukraine, Valeriy Bolotov, speaks to the press after he was pronounced the 'people's governor' in the secret service building of Luhansk, Ukraine on April 21, 2014. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The separatist leader of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov (L), leaves after holding a press conference in Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russian activist guards a barricade outside the regional administrative building as a flag of the so-called 'People's Republic of Donetsk' hung in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on April 21, 2014. (ANATOLIY STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Children pose for a picture with a pro-Russian militant outside the city council building on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Ievgeniy Gorbik, a spokesperson for the pro-Russian militants occupying Slovyansk, speaks to the press in front of a tank parked near the security service building on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • A boy rides his bike in front of a barricade near the Slovyansk police station on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russian militant sits on top of an armored personnel carrier in front of the occupied security service building on April 21, 2014 in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russia activist hangs a flag of the so-called 'People's Republic of Donetsk' on the regional administration building seized by separatists as armed men in military fatigues guard the premises in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman and child with an armed man in military fatigues guarding a barricade outside the regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Pro-Russia activists sing the Russian national anthem during a pro-Russia rally outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on April 21, 2014. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Pro-Russia activists sing the Russian national anthem during a pro-Russia rally outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 21, 2014. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russia supporter stands at a barricade outside the regional police building seized by separatists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • An armed man in military fatigues guards a barricade outside the regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • An armoured personnel carrier with a Russian flag drives outside the regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 21, 2014. (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • An Orthodox priest blesses protesters during a pro-Russian rally outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on April 21, 2014. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The bodyguard of the leader of the separatist rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk attends a press-conference in the city on April 20, 2014. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A young boy poses with an armed man in military fatigues guarding a barricade outside the regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 20, 2014. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A pro-Russian activist stands guard outside of the Donetsk Regional Administration building on April 20, 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)