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Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria Collaborate in Black Sea Mine-Hunting Operation to Safeguard Ukrainian Grain Exports


Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria launched a joint mine-hunting operation in the Black Sea on Monday to enhance shipping safety for Ukrainian grain exports.

In January 2024, three aforementioned countries have signed a memorandum to join forces to conduct mine-hunting operations in the Black Sea.

Led by Istanbul, this initiative marks the first major collaborative effort among Black Sea nations since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Its goal is to clear mines drifting into specific Black Sea areas due to the ongoing war, reports Bloomberg.

While members of NATO, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria are managing their joint Black Sea force independently outside of NATO to prevent escalating tensions with Russia.

Last year, Kyiv established its own Black Sea export route following the collapse of a safe-corridor agreement supported by Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations. While this move has increased exports and accelerated economic growth beyond expectations, the route remains risky.

In March, Ukraine reported that exports from its Black Sea ports had nearly rebounded to pre-war levels despite repeated disruptions and attacks since Russia’s full-scale invasion. However, ports near Odesa continue to face frequent interruptions due to strikes by Russian forces.

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