Tallinn Gulf Cleared Of WWI, WWII Mines
A military operation for clearing the territorial waters north of the Estonian capital of mines remaining from the first and second world wars is officially over on Monday. Ingrid Muchling, press secretary of the headquarters of the Estonian Navy, reports that all in all 48 mines, one deep-sea bomb, three torpedoes, 21 shells of mostly German and Soviet make have been found and rendered harmless. Participating in this operation were 22 ships from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, France, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, their national forces, a squadron of mine-sweepers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a Baltic mine-sweeper squadron /Baltron/, 1,000 servicemen from these countries, a unit of divers from Norway and a British mobile logistic formation. According to the press secretary, the scope of the operation was the largest in recent years. General guidance of this operation was done by Lauri Tamm, chief of staff of the Estonian Navy, and Igor Swede, commander of the Baltic mine-sweeper squadron. Experts say that, as of now, over 80,000 mines of the first and second world wars still remain in the territorial waters of Baltic states.