As worries about a global hunger grow, Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst is spearheading the charge in Congress to revive initiatives to de-mine the Black Sea and permit passage of trade ships, Fox News informed.
“The United States should not hesitate to cooperate with this effort,” Ernst told Fox News Digital. “De-mining the sea’s shipping channels is a key step in both helping Ukraine and delivering grain to the rest of the globe.”
The United States is currently unable to train Ukraine to clear the mines from the Black Sea due to bureaucratic red tape.
According to Russia’s Federal Security Service, at least 420 mines were sunk in the Black Sea in March, with some floating off the coasts of nearby countries like Romania and Turkey.
While Kyiv accused Moscow of spreading false information and inventing a pretext to explain their presence in the Ukrainian waters, Russia claimed Ukrainian forces had planted them there.
The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was amended earlier this month by Ernst, the only female combat veteran serving in Congress, with support from both parties. The amendment would allow the United States to train Ukrainians to de-mine their waters without following the usual training protocols in times of war.
De-mining training is restricted geographically by the Department of Defense to the nations where the exercise will actually be carried out.
The senator claims that the training is also forbidden in areas of current conflict.
Bypassing this accepted procedure, Ernst’s legislation would permit the United States to train Ukrainians in non-combat areas in allies.
In addition to altering the security system in Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody campaign in Ukraine has also helped to heal partisan divides in Washington for the benefit of Kiev.
With Ernst’s amendment, the NDAA was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month on a 23–3 vote and is now being considered on the Senate floor.
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