Turkey takes measures against ‘floating mine’ claim in Black Sea: Minister

Turkey takes measures against ‘floating mine’ claim in Black Sea: Minister

Turkey takes measures against ‘floating mine’ claim in Black Sea: Minister

Turkey is taking all the measures against the mines allegedly drifting towards the Turkish coasts and straits, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said.

“I hope they will destroy themselves without an accident, or we will see and destroy them with our anti-mine ships,” Akar said.

The ministry examines and coordinates the incoming information about the mines and observes the region by planes, helicopters, UAVs and frigates, Akar was quoted as saying on March 23.

Russia’s main intelligence agency on March 21 said several hundred mines had drifted into the Black Sea after breaking off from cables near Ukrainian ports. “After the start of the Russian special military operation, Ukrainian naval forces had deployed barriers of mines around the ports of Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny,” the FSB security service said. The cables were cut due to storms, and some of them were floating freely in the western Black Sea, pushed along by wind and the currents, it added.

Ukraine, however, dismissed the claim, saying that it was disinformation aimed at closing off parts of the sea.

Russia, Ukraine advises keeping Turkish aircraft in position

The minister said the two A-400M Turkish aircraft, which arrived in Ukraine the day the war began to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate Turkish citizens but stranded at the airport, is still at their place with no harm according to Ukrainian authorities.

Russia also informed Turkey that they are observing the aircraft, Akar said, adding, “However, both sides say it would be appropriate for the aircraft to remain in their current position due to various safety concerns. Hopefully, we will bring our planes to our country as soon as possible.”

The minister also criticized Turkey’s NATO partners that are imposing an embargo on Ankara in the field of the defense industry.

“We are in a period when our friends and those we know as allies impose restrictions on implicit or explicit export licenses,” Akar stated.

The minister underlined that Turkey had never been a burden to NATO, on the contrary, as a burden-bearing state, Ankara has made every effort to fulfill the mission of alliance in general” by making every kind of sacrifice and contribution” as much as it can.