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Georgia: Black Sea States Naval Chiefs Hold First Congress

Tbilisi, 20 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Navy chiefs of countries bordering the Black Sea met yesterday in Tbilisi at what was the inaugural meeting of the new Blackseafor naval task force. Navy admirals from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Turkey met in the Georgian capital to discuss further plans for the task force. Blackseafor was set up earlier in the month. It is envisioned to provide help in search-and-rescue operations, humanitarian aid, mine detection, and protecting the Black Sea environment. It has no military mission.

Romania is the sixth member of the new naval task force, but Bucharest's navy chief was not listed as being present at yesterday's meeting.