Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry issued a statement on July 27, after Nato said the day before that Russia’s new warning area in the Black Sea, within Bulgaria’s exclusive economic zone, had created new risks for miscalculation and escalation, as well as serious impediments to freedom of navigation.
Russia issued the warning after withdrawing from the Black Sea grain deal, which enabled the transportation of grain from Ukraine.
Russia’s foreign ministry said Moscow’s withdrawal from the grain deal also meant the “withdrawal of navigation safety guarantees, curtailment of the maritime humanitarian corridor, and restoration of the regime of a temporarily dangerous area in the northwestern Black Sea”.
On July 26, after an emergency meeting of the Nato-Ukraine Council, a Nato statement said that the Alliance was stepping up surveillance and reconnaissance in the Black Sea region, including with maritime patrol aircraft and drones.
“Russia’s actions also pose substantial risks to the stability of the Black Sea region, which is of strategic importance to Nato,” Nato Secretary General Stoltenberg said. “Allies are stepping up support to Ukraine and increasing our vigilance. We remain ready to defend every inch of Allied territory from any aggression.”
Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said that Russia had “sent a public notification to designate a temporary warning zone in the Black Sea due to the conduct of military exercises. The zone includes parts of Bulgaria’s exclusive economic zone.
“Although these actions do not constitute a formal violation of international legal norms, they are not considered good practice,” the Defence Ministry said.
“Bulgaria and the Allies continue the regular activities of enhanced surveillance in the Nato area of responsibility, in accordance with the decisions within the framework of the Alliance,” it said.
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