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Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria sign deal to clear floating Black Sea mines


Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria signed an agreement on Thursday on a joint plan to clear mines floating in the Black Sea as a result of the war in Ukraine, following months of talks between the NATO allies, according to Reuters.

Turkish Defence Minister Yasar Guler, his Romanian counterpart Angel Tilvar and Bulgaria’s Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov signed a memorandum of understanding in Istanbul to form a trilateral initiative to clear the explosives.

“With the start of the war, a threat of floating mines in the Black Sea has arisen. To combat it…we agreed to form a Black Sea mine counter-measures task group,” Guler said at the signing ceremony.

Sea mines have posed a threat to Ukraine’s export routes via the Black Sea since Russia’s invasion in February 2022 and several commercial ships have been hit, including a bulk carrier heading to the River Danube port to load grain in December.