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Grain Shipments Endangered by Floating Mines in Black Sea

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of laying mines

Martin Damboldt | PEXELS
Martin Damboldt | PEXELS

The risk of coming across floating mines in the major Black Sea shipping route is adding to perils for merchant ships sailing in the region, and governments must ensure safe passage to keep supply chains running, maritime officials say.

According to Reuters, Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of laying mines in the Black Sea, and in recent days, Turkish and Romanian military diving teams have defused stray mines around their waters.

Two seafarers have been killed and five merchant vessels hit by projectiles - which sank one of them - off Ukraine's coast since the start of the conflict, shipping officials say. A Cargill-chartered ship was one of those hit in February.

The Black Sea is key for shipping grain and other products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia.

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