(NewsReady.com) – The Black Sea, once bustling with trade ships moving vital grain and fertilizer shipments from Russia and Ukraine, has become a hazard zone due to hundreds of mines littered throughout its waters. Many of the explosives have drifted far from their original positions, putting civilians all throughout the region at risk. Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania recently agreed to team up to end the threat.
The Guardian reported on the growing problem back in July 2022, stating that both Russia and Ukraine had deployed mines into the sea by the hundreds in their efforts to cripple one another. Many went adrift after a heavy storm hit the area, sending them along the Odessa coast and into other regions. Authorities from both countries point the finger at one another for causing the problem, but both sides may be to blame. Russia has been accused of dropping between 400 and 600 mines, and Ukraine has allegedly deployed at least 370. Winter storms have reportedly increased the danger by distributing them far from their intended spots.
Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania have all found mines in their territories, according to Yahoo! News, noting that their presence puts the countries’ trade—and potentially even their people—at serious risk. In the hopes of restoring peace to the waterways, the three countries signed an agreement on January 11 to search together for the destructive devices and de-mine as much of the sea as they could.
Clearance of the passageway will reopen its use for trade and safeguard neighboring regions from becoming collateral damage. The United Nations notes that alternative routes have been in place since July 2022, ensuring countries dependent on regular shipments of grain and fertilizer stay supplied despite the ongoing war. Still, current routes remain limited, and reestablishing freedom of movement in the Black Sea will improve international commerce, safety, and food security in many areas.
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