While the violation of international laws such as the chemical weapon convention, international humanitarian laws, and the killings of prisoners of war (POW) continues to dominate the headlines in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, little attention has been given to the naval mines discovered by the Turkish government in the Black Sea.
The Black Sea, which is a major shipping route to transmit goods globally, is geographically connected through oceans by the Mediterranean Sea through Istanbul, Sea of Azov, and Gibraltar Straits, and it is bordered by Ukraine to the North, Georgia to the East, Turkey to the South, Russia to the North East and Bulgaria and Romania to the West.
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Aside from the Black Sea being important for global trade and sustaining the United Nations agenda on food sufficiency, it is also strategic for states to maintain political control prompting part of the reason for Russia to importantly target Odessa and Mariupol cities of Ukraine which are closer to the black.
The landmines which were discovered by the Turkish government on its border in the Black Sea expose ships to wreckage and seafarers, sailors and crew members and fishermen to death and by implication can lead to global shortage of supply of goods.
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, where the launching of cruise missiles by the Russian military through the Black Sea directly to Lviv in Ukraine, has had a devastating environmental effect, leading to ecological disasters on the surroundings of those areas as constant missile testing in the sea hampers marine wildlife and safe marine environment due to the impact of high decibel volume from missile testing.
Ukraine and Russia have continued to exchange words over the planted mines in the Black Sea. Both countries accuse each other of planting the mines as a means of trap to annihilate their counterpart’s military ship. All these bring to the fore the need to review the legality given to military activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) as the International Law of the Sea does not recognise these measures in the protection of terminal navigation straits.
Moshood Olajide is of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife, Osun State. He can be reached through email@example.com