Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria launch mine clearance operations in Black Sea to boost exports to Ukraine

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Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria began joint mine clearance operations in the Black Sea on July 1 to ensure safe grain shipments from Ukraine, Bloomberg reported.

Under the Turkey-led deal, the three countries will oversee efforts to clear mines that have been floating in the Black Sea since Russia began its all-out war. Other NATO members are not involved in the initiative.

Since the start of the large-scale Russian invasion in February 2022, hundreds of mines have been scattered across the Black Sea. Several civilian and military ships from countries not participating in the war have encountered sea mines since the start of the invasion.

Turkey, which brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative in 2022, plays a key role in the demining agreement. A memorandum of understanding on demining in the Black Sea was signed in Istanbul on January 11.

Kiev was forced to set up a new Black Sea export route last year after Russia unilaterally terminated the Black Sea grain deal, initially intended as a humanitarian The route was originally intended for the departure of ships that had been stranded there since the beginning of the war, but has now developed into a fully-fledged trade route.

By the end of June, Ukraine had exported 37.4 million tons of agricultural products through the new route, the Infrastructure Ministry said.

Economy Ministry: Allies donate over $700 million in mine clearance aid to Ukraine

Ukraine has received more than $700 million from foreign partners for humanitarian mine clearance projects for the period 2022-2027, the Ministry of Economy announced on April 4, the International Day for Mine Risk Awareness and Assistance.

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