Turkey to limit Russian warship sailings in Dardanelles, Bosphorus through treaty implementation
Turkey’s foreign ministry has confirmed that the country’s government will implement an international treaty with the aim of potentially limiting the movement of Russian warships in the Black Sea straits of Dardanelles and Bosphorus.
The move to enact articles of the Montreux Convention, which was originally signed by Turkey and the Soviet Union as well as eight other countries in 1936 to regulate maritime traffic in the Black Sea, comes after officials in Ankara called Russia’s attack on Ukraine late last week as “unacceptable.”
Speaking to local media, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented that the Russian attack on Ukraine is “officially a war” and added that the convention will be implemented.
The articles of the treaty permit Turkey to close off the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits to prohibit the movements of foreign naval vessels during wartime or if there is an imminent threat to the country. However, a clause in the same treaty will allow the transits of warships returning to their respective registered homeports.
Six Russian Navy surface ships and a submarine reportedly sailed through the straits earlier this month.
Mr Cavusoglu emphasised that there should not be “any abuse of [the] exemption” that allows warships to return to port.