AIRLINK 66.59 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.31%)
BOP 5.70 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.53%)
CNERGY 4.68 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (1.08%)
DFML 22.94 Increased By ▲ 0.62 (2.78%)
DGKC 70.60 Increased By ▲ 0.84 (1.2%)
FCCL 20.35 Increased By ▲ 0.73 (3.72%)
FFBL 29.70 Decreased By ▼ -0.50 (-1.66%)
FFL 10.03 Increased By ▲ 0.13 (1.31%)
GGL 10.09 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.4%)
HBL 115.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-0.17%)
HUBC 130.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-0.15%)
HUMNL 6.70 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.59%)
KEL 4.35 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
KOSM 4.90 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (2.08%)
MLCF 37.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.24%)
OGDC 131.60 Decreased By ▼ -1.95 (-1.46%)
PAEL 22.58 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.09%)
PIAA 26.88 Increased By ▲ 0.18 (0.67%)
PIBTL 6.55 Increased By ▲ 0.30 (4.8%)
PPL 112.80 Decreased By ▼ -1.15 (-1.01%)
PRL 28.49 Increased By ▲ 1.34 (4.94%)
PTC 16.25 Increased By ▲ 0.12 (0.74%)
SEARL 59.67 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-0.05%)
SNGP 66.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.50 (-0.75%)
SSGC 11.09 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-1.07%)
TELE 8.95 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.11%)
TPLP 11.63 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (2.56%)
TRG 69.35 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.01%)
UNITY 24.16 Increased By ▲ 0.71 (3.03%)
WTL 1.36 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BR100 7,330 Increased By 12.5 (0.17%)
BR30 24,074 Decreased By -32.3 (-0.13%)
KSE100 70,569 Increased By 85.8 (0.12%)
KSE30 23,201 Decreased By -1.2 (-0%)

ISTANBUL: NATO members Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on Thursday joined forces and signed an agreement on demining the Black Sea to ensure safe waters after Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Russian navy mined Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline in the early stages of its invasion nearly two years ago.

Some of the mines have since washed up in the waters of the three countries, endangering shipping and complicating Ukraine’s efforts to break through a Russian naval blockade.

Top defence officials from Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Istanbul establishing the Mine Countermeasures Naval Group in the Black Sea (MCM Black Sea), which will oversee demining operations. Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tilvar and Bulgaria’s Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov joined their Turkish counterpart Yasar Guler at a military residence overlooking the Bosphorus for the signing ceremony.

Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria to ink deal on floating Black Sea mines

“It is of vital importance to be protected from security risks that war could cause,” Guler said at the ceremony. “With the start of the war, mines drifting in the Black Sea posed a threat. To overcome this, we have come this far with the joint efforts of our Bulgarian and Romanian allies,” he added. The Romanian defence ministry earlier said the initiative will have a rotating command structure and “contribute to strengthening the allied posture of deterrence and defence of the eastern flank.”

Sinan Ulgen, director of the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, said the mines constituted a serious threat especially with winter storms. Floating mines … “are a danger not only for cargo ships but also civilians and civilian ships which do not have the same protection as military vessels,” he told AFP.

The agreement should also make it possible to secure Ukrainian grain exports along the Romanian and Bulgarian coasts — an alternative navigation route put in place after a UN-brokered deal ended following Russian withdrawal in the summer of 2023. In December, Ukrainian authorities said a Panama-flagged ship arriving to collect grain hit a Russian naval mine in the Black Sea, injuring two sailors.

Guler emphasised that the initiative would involve only the ships of the three Black Sea littoral states, adding that other countries’ contributions would be possible when conditions are met. Neither Russia nor Ukraine provided immediate comment.

Turkey controls Black Sea maritime and naval traffic, which must pass Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles before reaching the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

Comments

Comments are closed.