Turkey’s plan to re-start shipping in the Black Sea has hit a roadblock. Ukraine is refusing to give up its naval mines.
Under Turkey’s plan, which would involve cooperation between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations, Turkey would assist Ukraine in removing its naval mines. Then, the Turkish navy would provide commercial shipping vessels with an escort. Russia has agreed to the deal.
Today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. The two discussed Ukraine and Syria. During a joint press conference, Lavrov stated, “we are ready to ensure the safety of ships that leave Ukrainian ports. We are ready to do this in cooperation with our Turkish colleagues.”
However, Ukraine says they will not agree to remove the naval mines. Sergiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Ukrainian military in Odesa Oblast, stated, “the moment we clear access to the port of Odesa, the Russian fleet will be there.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin also pledged last week that he facilitate the safe passage of commercial ships in the Black Sea.
Many leaders worldwide claim there will be a global food crisis if the port is not re-opened.
The Turkish Coast Guard has already destroyed multiple Ukrainian naval mines because they broke anchor and floated south. Allegedly drifting close to the coast of Turkey and Romania. The naval mines appear to come from a very old stockpile. Ukraine also placed the same kind of naval mines in the Sea of Azov, but they have since been cleared by Russia.