Belgium will give Ukraine a research vessel for monitoring the Black and Azov Seas

The Ukrainian Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources officially announced the agreement with the Kingdom of Belgium, seat of the EU institutions.

Ukraine and the Kingdom of Belgium signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of water protection and reproduction and rational use of water resources. The document was signed by the Belgian Federal Office for Science Policy, the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine

With this memorandum, the Belgian side confirms its readiness to transfer the research vessel Belgica to Ukraine free of charge.

The Ministry noted that the 1984 vessel is in good condition and has unique built-in equipment, in particular, high-precision echo sounders.

The protection of marine ecosystems is included in the ecological block of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, according to which our state must carry out regular marine monitoring in accordance with European standards. Ukraine is currently implementing the provisions of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive for the gradual achievement of a good ecological state of the marine environment. I would like to thank the Belgian side for such assistance, which will strengthen environmental monitoring of the Black and Azov Seas.

Roman Abramovsky, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

The Memorandum provides for strengthening cooperation between Ukrainian and Belgian scientists in the joint study of the Black Sea, in particular, the problem of increasing the level of hydrogen sulfide.

We expect that very soon, with the financial support of the EU project “European Union for Strengthening Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea” (EU4EMBLAS), the “Belgica” vessel under the Ukrainian flag will go to Ukraine. And in the fall, comprehensive monitoring of our sea areas will begin on board this vessel.

Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine

At the same time, the Belgian counterparty invited Ukrainian specialists to join research work in the North Sea.