Turkey suspects conspiracy behind Black Sea mines — Analysis
According to reports, the defense chief suggested that explosives might have been used intentionally in order to justify sending in NATO minesweepers
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has reportedly raised the possibility that mines discovered off his country’s coast were purposely deployed in the Black Sea as a pretext for sending NATO minesweepers to the region amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“We have doubts as to whether the mines were left intentionally,” the defense minister told members of Turkey’s Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) in a meeting last week, the Hurriyet Daily News reported on Sunday. “Maybe these mines were left within a plan for NATO minesweepers to enter the Black Sea.”
Akar suggested that the scheme was designed to press Ankara into accepting NATO warships entering the Black Sea through Turkish Straits. Akar insisted on the fact that Ankara would abide to the Montreux Convention which permits Turkey to control maritime traffic through the Straits during wartime.
We are against warships entering the Black Sea. The war will be fought in the Black Sea.
Turkey has defused at least three mines discovered by its forces since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine began in February. There may be many more of these explosives floating in the Black Sea.
“We do not know who left the mines in the Black Sea,” Akar said. “They are Russian-made, but the issue of which country left it is under investigation. According to reports, there may be around 400 mines. The Romanian and Bulgarian authorities were contacted. They also carry out monitoring.”
A second concern is how the mines where deployed. Akar said such explosives are normally designed to lock themselves when they break free from the cables that hold them in position, but that wasn’t the case with the mines that have been found in recent weeks. “So it could have been left like that on purpose,”He added. “We are investigating.”
Kiev has accused Russia’s military of multiple atrocities, which the US and other NATO members have readily accepted as fact and trumpeted as war crimes. Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has claimed that Russian forces have laid mines in Black Sea. “uncontrolled drifting ammunition,”The creation of “worst threat to international security since World War II.”
Moscow denies the allegations, claiming that Ukraine was trying to control media coverage about the conflict. In fact, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has said it was Ukraine that placed explosives in the Black Sea, deploying 420 “obsolete”Sea anchor mines are located in several port areas. Last month, the FSB advised that certain mines could have detached from cables. This would pose a threat to security as they drift towards the Mediterranean Sea.
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