Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria sign memorandum on combatting mine threat in Black Sea

ANKARA: The defense ministries of Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have signed a memorandum to create an anti-mine naval group in the Black Sea,...


ANKARA: The defense ministries of Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have signed a memorandum to create an anti-mine naval group in the Black Sea, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on X (formerly Twitter).

"Military operations [in Ukraine] have negatively affected the security situation in the Black Sea, creating a mine threat. Last summer, the three countries decided to take protective measures and establish a joint team. The decision was made and now you can see that it has been signed. A committee will be established that will make decisions on participation in [multilateral anti-mine] work by majority vote," Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler said at the signing ceremony.

Guler stated that only the naval forces of the three memorandum signatories would be involved in combating the mine threat in the Black Sea.

"This initiative will be open only for vessels from the three Black Sea nations. We appreciate the contribution that countries from outside the Black Sea region and our allies could make to the work. Their efforts to facilitate these activities may be determined later given appropriate conditions," the minister said.

Guler views the memorandum "as a major contribution to maintaining security in the Black Sea." "A joint committee involving members of the three nations’ navies will be established" to carry out the work and address issues related to the possible contribution of other Black Sea littoral countries.

The Turkish defense chief also pointed out that earlier, Ankara "did a great job to organize a grain corridor" in order to ensure food security. "We have always acted in a careful, responsible and impartial manner and we will continue to act like that based on the Montreux Convention regarding the [Turkish] Straits, which is of great importance in terms of balance in the Black Sea and regional security. We thank all countries for their commitment to the letter of the convention and expect them to maintain the same attitude towards it," Guler pointed out

Mines drifting in the Black Sea have repeatedly appeared in coastal countries' ports and even approached the mouth of the Bosporus Strait. This prompted Turkey to co-sponsor the creation of a joint team that would demine the sea. The three countries' delegations established direct contact in September 2023, drafting a trilateral memorandum.

NATO countries held anti-mine naval drills in Romanian waters in September 2023. The exercise, which took place in the Black Sea and the Danube River delta, involved over 200 navy personnel from Bulgaria, France, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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Local Glob: Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria sign memorandum on combatting mine threat in Black Sea
Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria sign memorandum on combatting mine threat in Black Sea
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