"MCM Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony" was held in Istanbul with the participation of Defence Minister Yaşar Güler, Romanian counterpart Angel Tilvar and Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence Atanas Zapryanov. The "Triple Initiative" agreement against the mine danger in the Black Sea will be signed in Istanbul tomorrow.
Speaking at the press conference held after the ceremony, Minister Güler emphasized that they carefully, responsibly and impartially implemented the Montreux Straits Convention, which ensures the balance in the Black Sea in line with the principle of regional ownership and is of great importance for the security of the region. Güler thanked all the states that have complied with the rules of the Convention so far and stated that they expect the same sensitivity from now on.
Pointing out that the signed agreement would be acted upon unanimously, Güler said, "With the start of the war, there was a threat due to the mines drifting in the Black Sea. In order to overcome this, we have come this far with joint efforts with our Bulgarian and Romanian allies. We adopted a strategic vision. Within this framework, we agreed to establish a Mine Counter-Measures Task Group against the threat of mines drifting in the Black Sea.” Güler noted that according to this agreement they signed, there will be a committee consisting of the Naval Forces Commanders of the three countries within the organizational structure. He underlined that this committee will make unanimous decisions on the activities of the task group and the determination and acceptance of the countries that will participate when appropriate conditions are met.
Güler stated that he wanted to draw attention to the fact that this initiative was created by three riparian allies and said, "When the conditions are met following the end of the ongoing war, the participation of the riparian partner countries will be possible with the approval of this committee. We find the possible contribution expectations of our other non-riparian allies to this initiative valuable. However, this initiative "Will be open only to the ships of the three coastal allied countries; the agreed contributions of the others in certain areas will be possible in time when the conditions are met."
Romanian Minister of Defence shared his vision on the Ministry’s Twitter account: “NATO Littoral Partners, along with NATO's Standing NATO Maritime Group and non-littoral Allies, could also contribute. Together, we're ensuring a safer Black Sea!”
An expert who evaluated the two countries' opposing approaches, Turkiye and Romania, said to TurDef, “Romania always wants to see NATO in the Black Sea. Bringing the country with this idea to the table and signing this agreement is the real success.”