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Demining Black Sea: Türkiye, Bulgaria and Romania sign agreement

Thursday, 11 January 2024, 14:13
Demining Black Sea: Türkiye, Bulgaria and Romania sign agreement
Srock photo: Getty Images

Türkiye, Bulgaria and Romania signed an agreement about joint counteraction against sea mines, which threaten shipping in the Black Sea and transportation of grain from Ukraine, on 11 January.

Source: European Pravda with reference to AP

Details: Yaşar Güler, Minister of Defence of Türkiye, states that the agreement provides for the creation of a target group for anti-mine activity between the three NATO allies to deal with drifting mines.

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"We jointly decided to sign a protocol between three countries in order to fight more effectively against the mine danger in the Black Sea by improving our existing close cooperation and coordination," Güler said at a joint press conference in Istanbul with Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tîlvăr and Bulgarian Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov.

Güler invited other countries to participate in demining when the war is over.

The initiative of the three countries aims to make shipping safer, specifically for the vessels transporting grain from Ukraine.

Earlier, the Bulgarian government stressed that the activity of the group will not be carried out against any other country, and the demining operation in the Black Sea is expected to improve the interaction and friendly relations between the participants.

After signing the agreement the process of operative planning aimed at composing detailed documents and instruction concerning the actions of the group will begin. This process may take up to several months.

Background:

  • After the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish military diving teams regularly neutralise mines drifting in their waters. In October it was revealed that these three countries were discussing the creation of joint forces for mine clearance in the Black Sea for the first time.
  • These mine clearance forces will not be considered a NATO operation but will become the first major joint action of Black Sea allies since the beginning of the full-scale war in February 2022.

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