Mines drift near coast of Turkey amid Ukraine-Russia war

It is unclear who placed the mines and how they ended up near Turkey.

A TURKISH NAVY frigate, returning from a naval exercise, sails in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, earlier this year (photo credit: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER)
A TURKISH NAVY frigate, returning from a naval exercise, sails in the Bosphorus in Istanbul, earlier this year
(photo credit: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER)

A mine was found and neutralized by Turkish authorities off the coast of Igneada on Monday morning, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. according to the Turkish Defense Ministry.

The mine is the latest found in the Black Sea near the coast of Turkey. On Saturday, a mine was found near the Bosphorus Strait. Turkish authorities withdrew the mine and Turkish Defense Minister stated that the mine was of an "old type."

The Turkish defense minister added that he had spoken to both Russian and Ukrainian authorities about the issue. Maritime traffic is continuing safely.

It is unclear who placed the mines and how they ended up near Turkey.

In light of the reports, Russian and Ukrainian authorities have pointed the finger at each other.

 The Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet 145th Rescue Ship Squad's Prut class rescue tug EPRON sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey  (credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS) The Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet 145th Rescue Ship Squad's Prut class rescue tug EPRON sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey (credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS)

The Public Relations Center of the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency, claimed that the Ukrainian Navy had installed mines near Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and that they had drifted towards the Bosphorus due to the cables holding them breaking.

Andrii Klymenko, a project manager at the Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies, and a source in the Ukrainian Navy told Ukrainska Pravda that the Russian claims were false and that Russia had installed mines while claiming Ukraine had done so as a disinformation attempt.

Turkey has control of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits, which make up the waterway between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, as part of the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, an international agreement signed in 1936.

Under the agreement, Turkey regulates what warships and commercial ships can travel through the straits. The country is able to close the straits to warships of belligerent parties in wartime and close the straits to merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey.

Russia is not at war with Turkey, but is a belligerent party in wartime and Turkey is banning Russian warships from traveling through the straits unless they're returning to their home ports.

Article 6 of the agreement states that if Turkey is not a party to a war, but feels threatened with "imminent danger of war," freedom of commercial vessel traffic will be kept, but vessels will need to enter the straits by day and must follow a route set by Turkish authorities.