Belgium to transfer its research vessel to Ukraine
Ukraine and the Kingdom of Belgium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on water protection and reproduction 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 Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
With this Memorandum, the Belgian side confirms its readiness to transfer free of charge the research vessel "Belgica" to Ukraine. The ship was built in 1984, now stays is in good condition and has unique built-in equipment, such as high-precision sonar.
Roman Abramovsky, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, commented:
"Protection of marine ecosystems is included in the environmental block of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, according to which our country must conduct regular marine monitoring by European standards. Ukraine is currently implementing the provisions of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive in order to gradually achieve a proper 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."
In addition, the country will pursue fishery-independent scientific monitoring of fish stocks, basic scientific research on the high seas, geological exploration of the seabed, and other measures.
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.
In early July it became known that the Ukrainian government has allocated funds for the purchase of a research vessel - an icebreaker for Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions.