Ankara: Turkey said that it will implement the Montreux Convention in the Black Sea in a way to prevent further escalation in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“We have decided to use the authority given to our country by the Montreux Convention in a way to prevent the escalation of the crisis,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Monday.
Under the Montreux Convention signed in 1936, naval vessels of non-riparian countries are required to notify Turkey in advance about their passage through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles straits, which connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
The agreement forbids ships of non-riparian countries from remaining in the Black Sea for more than 21 days but allows Turkey to cut off transit of military vessels through the straits during wartime, except for those that return to their bases.
Ankara has fulfilled its responsibilities in international organizations, especially the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the European Union, and will continue to do so in the future, Erdogan said. He emphasised that Turkey would not give up its national interests in its region. Therefore Ankara could not abandon its ties with Russia or Ukraine.
“Of course, we will not compromise our national interests. We will not neglect the regional and global balances. For this, we say that we will not give up neither Ukraine nor Russia,” said the president.
Earlier on Monday, Turkey warned warships of both Black Sea and non-Black Sea countries not to pass through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits in line with the Montreux Convention.
“We have alerted all riparian and non-riparian countries against having their warships pass through the straits,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters.
“We implemented what Montreux says, and we will do so from now on. There has been no passage or a request for passage through the straits until today,” he said.
However, if the warship is returning to its base in the Black Sea, the passage can not be blocked, the Turkish minister noted.