Russia: May 31, 2001

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Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine have signed a naval cooperation agreement covering the Black Sea. (Bulgaria and Romania had wanted the US to join the group as an observer, but the US bluntly refused.) The agreement has two main provisions. One is a general cooperation agreement covering port visits, environmental protection, and exchanges of information on operations (and Cold War leftover problems). The second is an agreement to annually create a joint naval task force that would conduct exercises for search and rescue, peace support, and other missions.--Stephen V Cole