The United Nations is extremely concerned about the drifting mines in the Black Sea. Since last Saturday, three explosive objects have already been discovered.
The first two mines were found in Turkish territorial waters, the third – in Romanian. The Black Sea region is critical for food supplies, and merchant ships do not have sufficient visibility to detect sea mines, nor the ability to quickly maneuver around them.
After the discovery of a mine off the Romanian coast, the minelayer “Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu” headed for the dangerous area, on board of which there was a group of sappers. Diana Sobar, Correspondent euronewsmanaged to witness the demining operation:
“The mine was destroyed seventy kilometers from the coast. The mission lasted for several hours and was successfully completed.”
The operation began after the mine was spotted from a fishing boat and the alarm was raised. The command of the Romanian Naval Forces decided to send special forces to the area. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Commander Catalin Gerginescu says that finding a mine in sea waves is not easy:
“This mine from Ukrainian territorial waters was exposed in 2020. We are talking about small mines that are used against surface ships, with a warhead mass of 20 kilograms. The mine is black, and if the sea is rough, it can be overlooked.”
The commander of the ship “Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu” Daniel Georma warns:
“Some of the mines have come loose from their lines and there is a real danger to navigation in the area.”
At present, all ships in the Black Sea are subject to a warning about increased visual and radio surveillance. The Romanian Navy admits that other mines carried by the current may soon reach the territorial waters of the country. A decision was made to constantly patrol the mine layer in the territorial waters of the country.
Meanwhile, potential culprits of mine drift accuse each other. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Russia, by mining the Black Sea, is trying to discredit Ukraine in front of international partners – it is using mines seized in Crimea in 2014.
The Russian Federal Security Service issued a statement warning that naval mines planted by the Ukrainian Navy on the approaches to its Black Sea ports could enter the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus.