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Bulgaria, Romania and Türkiye to sign agreement on mine clearance of Black Sea

Saturday, 16 December 2023, 17:21
Bulgaria, Romania and Türkiye to sign agreement on mine clearance of Black Sea
YAŞAR GÜLER. PHOTO: ANADOLU

Bulgaria, Romania and Türkiye are planning to sign an agreement on joint mine clearance of the Black Sea on 11 January.

Source: Yaşar Güler, Turkish National Defence Minister, during a press conference on Saturday (16 December, as reported by European Pravda citing TRT Haber

Details: Güler mentioned the mine clearance of the Black Sea within the context of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, stressing that Ankara was "carefully, responsibly and impartially" implementing the Montreux Convention (regulating navigation through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas).

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"As part of the Trilateral Initiative launched under the leadership of our country to combat the mine threat in the Black Sea, we held the third round of the Black Sea Mine Action Task Force meeting on 22-23 November, hosted by our ministry," the minister recalled.

"We are also planning to hold a signing ceremony in Istanbul on 11 January 2024 featuring the defence ministers of the three countries," he added.

Amidst Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine, Güler also voiced hope that "this war, which affects the whole world, will end as soon as possible" and that Ukraine's territorial integrity will be protected.

Background: Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish military diving teams have been regularly clearing mines drifting in their waters. In October, reports emerged for the first time that the three countries had been discussing the creation of a joint force to clear the Black Sea of mines.

This minesweeping force would not be considered a NATO operation. Still, it would be the first major joint action by the Black Sea allies since President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to invade Ukraine in February 2022.

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