NATO states commence mine-clearance operations in the Black Sea

July 2,2024 177
NATO states commence mine-clearance operations in the Black Sea

Türkiye, Romania, and Bulgaria have begun a joint mission to mine clearance in the Black Sea, Bloomberg reports. The process aims to neutralize unexploded ordnance drifting in certain areas of the sea due to conflicts.

The Istanbul-led initiative, the first major joint action of Black Sea nations since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022,” journalists write.

Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine has threatened the safe passage of grain shipments. “Kyiv launched its own Black Sea export route last year after the collapse of a safe-corridor deal backed by Russia, Turkey and the United Nations. That has successfully boosted exports and helped the economy grow faster than forecast but the route remains risky,” Bloomberg writes.

The mine clearance group’s activities are not aimed against any specific country, and the operation to clear the Black Sea of mines will help improve cooperation among participants, according to Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry.

The group will create safe conditions for civilian ships’ navigation in the Black Sea, minimizing the risk of explosions. The three countries will establish a joint fleet for demining operations. Türkiye, Romania, and Bulgaria have also invited other countries to join the initiative. An agreement to commence the operation was signed in January.

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