Türkiye, Bulgaria, and Romania Launch Task Forces to Demine Black Sea

In January, these countries signed an agreement to address the mine threat arising from the Ukrainian conflict.

On Monday, the Black Sea Mine Countermeasure Task Group, a trilateral effort by Türkiye, Bulgaria, and Romania, launched its mission to locate and neutralize drifting mines in the Black Sea.

RELATED:

Russian Missiles Destroy Five Ukrainian Fighter Planes

The operation commenced after naval commanders from the three countries signed the “operation order” during a meeting in Istanbul, according to Türkiye’s Anadolu agency.

Turkish Naval Forces Commander Ercument Tatlioglu emphasized the Black Sea’s strategic importance and the security of maritime routes at the meeting. He stated that the task force’s success is crucial for all regional countries.

Tatlioglu highlighted that the task force’s operation will enable a swifter, more effective, and safer response to the Black Sea’s mine threat.

The Chief of Naval Forces Staff, Vice Admiral Mihai Panait, participated in Istanbul, in the Mine Counter-Measures Task Group Black Sea Committee Meeting, a naval group which also includes the 30th «Sublieutenant Alexandru Axente» Minesweeper. https://t.co/ZxpuIj2MSH pic.twitter.com/fbfrim0SjL

— MApN (@MApNRomania) July 2, 2024

Romanian Naval Forces Commander Mihai Panait called the mission a significant step in countering the growing threat of sea mines and ensuring safe passage for ships in the critical Black Sea waters.

For his part, Bulgarian Navy chief Kiril Mihaylov affirmed the commitment of the three countries to creating a secure environment for normal maritime activities and safe navigation.

Following a ceremony, ships belonging to the task force set sail for the Black Sea from a military port on Istanbul’s Asian shores later in the afternoon.

The defense ministers of Türkiye, Bulgaria, and Romania signed an agreement in January to address the collective mine threat in the Black Sea arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

#Russia announces suspension of Black Sea grain deal. pic.twitter.com/zVoMYl5U9M

— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 19, 2023