skip to main content

Ukraine conflict: Turkey to limit transit of Russian warships

Turkey will limit the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea after officials called Russia's assault on Ukraine a “war” on 27 February, four days after Moscow's invasion commenced.

In an interview with CNNTürk on 27 February, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the Turkish government will implement the provisions of the Montreux Convention in a transparent manner.

The foreign minister, however, stated that Turkey cannot block all Russian warships accessing the Black Sea due to a clause in the pact exempting those returning to their registered base. He noted that there should not be any abuse of this exemption. “Ships that declare returning to their bases and passing through the straits should not be involved in the war,” he said.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea and has the power to regulate the transit of naval warships.

Several Russian warships are already stationed in the Black Sea, and Moscow has others in the Mediterranean.

Under the treaty, Turkey would have to block ships from both Russia and Ukraine, but since Ukraine has no coastline other than on the Black Sea the decision would ultimately only affect Russian warships based outside the region.

Turkey's decision to implement the provisions of the convention also came after Ukraine made an official request to Turkey on 24 February to close its airspace and Black Sea access to Russian Navy vessels.

Russia is yet to comment on Çavuşoğlu's remarks.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...