Defense ministers of six Black Sea countries discuss Ukraine, floating mines
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on April 6 held an online meeting with his counterparts from Black Sea coastal countries and discussed the floating mines in the Black Sea and the issue of humanitarian corridors to Ukraine.
The discussions, held upon Turkey’s invitation, were fruitful, the minister said in a statement after the meeting.
Besides Akar, Bulgarian Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, Romanian Defense Minister Vasile Dincu, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze joined the meeting.
The importance of an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine to support a diplomatic solution and the urgency of the safe evacuation of civilians were emphasized at the meeting, Akar said.
In addition, the importance of cooperation for the preservation of peace, tranquility and stability in the Black Sea, including the fight against mines, was reiterated, he added.
“Finally, due to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the measures to be taken to continue humanitarian aid and to prevent further escalation of the crisis in the region were emphasized,” the minister noted.
Russia’s main intelligence agency on March 21 warned that several hundred mines had drifted into the Black Sea after breaking off from cables near Ukrainian ports. However, Ukraine refuted the Russian claims.
Turkey’s military diving teams safely detonated a floating naval mine in the Black Sea on April 6, the third such mine found in its waters since March 26.
A drifting naval mine was detected on March 26, in the north approach of the Bosporus Strait, which forced authorities to suspend marine traffic in the busy waterway. Amid the first incident, authorities also suspended fishing activities in the Black Sea.