07/23/2014 07:58 EDT | Updated 09/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Defence minister to deploy frigate to Mediterranean for ongoing NATO mission

HALIFAX - A Royal Canadian Navy ship will head to the Mediterranean to join an ongoing NATO mission in the region.

The military said in a statement Wednesday that Defence Minister Rob Nicholson be in Halifax on Thursday to send off HMCS Toronto.

The frigate will join NATO Reassurance measures in the Mediterranean.

Toronto will replace HMCS Regina, which was redirected in May to take part in alliance operations meant to send a message to Russia over the crisis in the Ukraine.

NATO announced in April that it was beefing up maritime patrols in both the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean as part of a deterrence package to contain potential Russian ambitions.

Regina has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May 2014.