Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey to Remove Mines from Black Sea

An ocean at sunset
Updated Published

In the coming month, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania are poised to ink an agreement on a coordinated initiative to tackle the issue of drifting mines in the Black Sea, an issue that has arisen due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Over the nearly two-year duration of the war, the detection of mines in the Black Sea has been a recurring subject, linking them to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Yasar Guler, Turkey's Defence Minister, briefed the media on Saturday, explaining the predicament of mines situated in port areas of both Ukraine and Russia. He noted that these mines occasionally break free and drift into their straits due to ocean currents. Guler announced that Turkish mine-clearing ships would be diligently patrolling up to the maritime boundaries with Romania to address this issue.

Earlier this month, a significant resolution was adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly. This resolution addresses the repercussions of the Ukraine conflict on international maritime operations. It includes the establishment of a technical assistance mission, led by the IMO, to aid Ukrainian authorities in reinstating unhindered international maritime traffic. This mission will also oversee the safety and security of vessels navigating through Ukraine's special maritime corridor and the country's port infrastructure.

Additionally, the International Association of Lighthouse and Marine Aids to Navigation Authorities has been directly assisting Ukrainian authorities in ensuring the functionality of navigational aids.

According to information from Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure, since the start of December, over 130 ships have departed from Ukrainian ports, transporting more than 5 million tons of goods. This activity commenced in August, shortly after Russia disengaged from the Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations.