Join our crew and become one of the 105,877 members that receive our newsletter.

Romanian minesweeper during a NATO training operation

BLACK SEA 2018 After a Minesweeping training day, Romanian Minesweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu comes alonside Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two flagship HMS Enterprise by night off shore from Constanta, Romania. NATO Photo by C. Valverde

Black Sea NATO Navies Agree To Clear Mines

Total Views: 1528
December 16, 2023

By Selcan Hacaoglu (Bloomberg) Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria plan a joint force to clear mines drifting into their areas of the Black Sea as part of the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The agreement, expected to be signed next month, would be the first major joint action of Black Sea nations since President Vladimir Putin started the war on Ukraine in February 2022. 

The defense ministers of the three countries are planning to hold a signing ceremony in Istanbul on Jan. 11, Turkish Defense Minister Yasar Guler said Saturday.

The coalition will try to tackle a threat to a major trade route, especially for grains, and to protect energy-exploration vessels in the area. Turkey has detected an increasing number of Ukrainian and Russian mines drifting toward the Turkish straits, Guler said.

While all three countries in the joint force are NATO allies, it wouldn’t be considered a NATO operation, he said. Turkey opposes the presence of naval assets in the Black Sea from other NATO countries, including the US, arguing they could further fuel tensions in the region. 

“The Black Sea can be managed by the countries that have a coast to the Black Sea, because we know that if someone from outside enters, the peace of this place will be disturbed,” Guler said. “But of course we will ask for help from our allies if we need it.”

Turkey is working toward reviving a UN-backed deal that had eased global food prices by allowing Ukraine to ship its grain through the Black Sea, Guler also said.

By Selcan Hacaoglu © 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 105,877 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

Join Our Crew

Join the 105,877 members that receive our newsletter.