Ukraine Acquires Former BNS Belgica

July 30, 2021 – Ukraine and the Kingdom of Belgium have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on the protection and reproduction of water and the rational use of water resources. The document was signed by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific Policy, the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

With this Memorandum, the Belgian side confirms its readiness to transfer the research vessel “Belgium” free of charge to Ukraine. The 1984 ship is in good condition and has unique built-in equipment, such as high-precision sonar.

“The protection of marine ecosystems is included in the ecological block of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, according to which our country must conduct regular marine monitoring according to European standards. Ukraine is currently implementing the provisions of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive in order to gradually achieve a good ecological status of the marine environment. We thank the Belgian side for such assistance that will strengthen the environmental monitoring of the Black and Azov Seas, “commented the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Roman Abramovsky.

In addition, fisheries-independent scientific monitoring of fish stocks, basic scientific research on the high seas, geological exploration of the seabed, etc. will be carried out.

The memorandum provides for strengthening cooperation between Ukrainian and Belgian scientists on the joint study of the Black Sea, in particular the problem of raising hydrogen sulfide levels. At the same time, the Belgian side invites Ukrainian experts to join the research work in the North Sea.

We expect that very soon, with the financial support of the EU project “European Union to strengthen environmental monitoring in the Black Sea” (EU4EMBLAS), the ship “Belgium” under the Ukrainian flag will move to Ukraine. And in the autumn the complex monitoring of our sea waters on board this vessel will begin.

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