Turkey to close Black Sea Strait to Russian Navy — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Hostilities in Ukraine have turned into a full-fledged ‘war’, says Turkish foreign minister

Ankara is preparing to restrict the access of Russian warships to the Black Sea due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

“It is no longer about a few air strikes, the situation in Ukraine is officially a war… We will apply the Montreux Convention,” he added. the official told CNN Turk in a live interview. “Turkey will implement all the provisions of the Montreux Convention in a transparent manner”, he added.

Under the Montreux Convention of 1936, which regulates the Black Sea Strait, Turkey is able to close the strait to military vessels of all nations in a formal state of war, as well as when it feels threatened by an impending war. However, the country cannot completely close the strait, unless it is itself in a state of war.

Ankara will still allow military ships, returning to their home ports, to cross the strait, Cavusoglu noted. “There should be no abuse of this exemption. Ships that declare to return to their bases and cross the strait should not be involved in the war”, said the diplomat.

Kiev has repeatedly urged Ankara to close the strait to Russia, although neither party to the ongoing conflict has officially declared war. Russia launched a large-scale military operation in Ukraine on Thursday, citing the need to protect the breakaway people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk from a widespread assault by Ukrainian troops. Ukraine blasted the attack as “without provocation”.

Kyiv has denied seeking to attack the republics that broke away from Ukraine after the 2014 Maidan coup and the ousting of the country’s democratically elected government. Moscow officially recognized the republics as independent states on Monday, signing bilateral friendship treaties with them and promising military assistance.

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