Bucharest, January 10, 2024 – #RBJ (Romanian Ministry of Defense press release) – The Minister of National Defense, Angel Tîlvăr, will sign on Thursday, January 11, together with his Turkish and Bulgarian counterparts, the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the establishment of the Task Force for combating sea mines in Black Sea – MCM Black Sea, in the trilateral format of the Republic of Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, in an official ceremony that will take place in Istanbul.
MCM Black Sea is an initiative of the three allies on the shores of the Black Sea aimed at facilitating the safety of navigation by combating the threats posed by sea mines.
The operational structure of MCM Black Sea, with a rotating command every six months and two planned activations in each rotation, will ensure a continuous level of vigilance and readiness, also contributing to the strengthening of the allied deterrence and defense posture of the eastern flank.
NATO littoral partners, as well as NATO Standing Naval Groups and non-littoral Allies, will be able to participate in MCM Black Sea activities in order to develop cooperation in support of Black Sea security and to improve interoperability.
The three countries plan to create a joint fleet to clear mines in parts of the Black Sea near Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria that have been found there due to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine.
It is mentioned that the initiative remains open to joint actions and the participation of forces and means of combating mines from other NATO member states located outside the Black Sea region, according to Euractiv.
The agreement between the three countries is to be signed this week in Istanbul. The mission will begin shortly after the agreement is signed.
This group of ships, tasked with destroying mines, will be the first major joint action by the allies in the Black Sea since Russia launched the war against Ukraine in February 2022.