NATO Allies Turkey, Romania, And Bulgaria Unite To Clear Black Sea Mines

Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria have signed a formal agreement to tackle the threat posed by drifting mines since the commencement of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The deal, signed in Istanbul, creates a joint Mine Countermeasures Task Group consisting of the three NATO members.

Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler, Romanian Defense Minister Angel Tilvar, and Bulgarian Deputy Defense Minister Atanas Zapryanov participated in the signing ceremony. Guler highlighted the seriousness of the situation, stressing that the prolonged conflict in Ukraine has made floating mines in the Black Sea a serious concern. According to Zapryanov, the mines threaten shipping, ports, communication networks, and essential water infrastructure. Tilvar highlighted how Russia’s activities have wider consequences, saying that their hostility in the Black Sea and contempt for international law go beyond local problems to have global effects.

NATO
Image Credits: KIDataApp/Twitter

A command-control ship and three minehunting ships from each nation will be deployed as part of the strategy. These assets will come together in a concerted attempt to remove the mines. A council of naval commanders from Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey will supervise the operation.

These three countries are the only ones involved in the cooperative effort, but Guler stated that once the crisis in Ukraine is over, it might include additional Black Sea states. The action was taken in response to multiple commercial ships—among which was a bulk carrier transporting grains to a port on the Danube River—falling victim to sea mines, thereby obstructing Ukraine’s Black Sea export routes.

Turkey recently refused to let two minehunter vessels that Britain provided to Ukraine traverse, citing the 1936 Montreux Convention that governs passage via the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits during the conflict. Guler underlined Turkey’s dedication to applying the agreement ethically and responsibly.

NATO spokesperson Dylan White applauded the deal and said it was an essential step toward improving food security and freedom of navigation in the area and beyond. The initiative is a reflection of NATO allies working together to solve security issues resulting from the situation in Ukraine.

Turkey is proactively collaborating with the UN, Ukraine, and Russia to restart the Black Sea grain program, which was withdrawn by Moscow the previous year. Turkey is demonstrating its commitment to regional stability and collaboration through its diplomatic efforts, even though the status of these negotiations is still unknown.

Reference: Al Jazeera

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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