ISTANBUL — Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on Thursday signed an settlement to collectively deal with rogue sea mines which have threatened Black Sea transport because the begin of the Ukraine warfare.
Turkish Protection Minister Yasar Guler mentioned the memorandum established a Mine Countermeasures Activity Group between the three NATO allies to cope with drifting mines.
“We collectively determined to signal a protocol between three international locations with the intention to battle extra successfully towards the mine hazard within the Black Sea by enhancing our present shut cooperation and coordination,” Guler mentioned at a information convention in Istanbul with Romanian Protection Minister Angel Tilvar and Bulgaria’s Deputy Protection Minister Atanas Zapryanov.
The deal comes after Ankara final week refused entry to the Black Sea for 2 minesweeping vessels donated to Ukraine by Britain.
In the beginning of the warfare in February 2022, Turkey enacted the 1936 Montreux Conference to dam the passage of Russian or Ukrainian ships by the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits. It additionally advised non-Black Sea states to not ship warships.
Guler mentioned implementation of the Montreux Conference was necessary for regional safety. He instructed that different international locations may take part in mine-clearing on the finish of the warfare.
Moscow and Kyiv have blamed one another for stray mines which have washed up close to the Black Beach.
The initiative goals to make transport safer, together with for vessels transporting grain from Ukraine.
Turkey and the United Nations brokered a deal in July 2022 to make sure the free passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea however Russia deserted the deal a yr later. Since then Ukraine has shipped grain alongside a hall by the western Black Sea.