Turkey: foreign warships will not pass through the straits


Yoruk Isik / Reuters

Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text

Ankara continues to build mutually beneficial relations with Russia, ignoring the angry shouts of the West.

Planes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles stationed on the boards of foreign military vessels that have received permission to stay in Turkey's internal waters or visit its ports will not be able to take off freely in the country's airspace without special permission.

In addition, foreign military divers are also prohibited from diving unsupervised. An exception is made only for those cases when urgent quarantine control or repair is required. And then – with the permission of the authorities and accompanied by a Turkish diving team.

Foreign warships are required to notify Turkish services 5 miles (8 km) before entering its internal waters or ports.

This decision was made by a special decree of the Government on the basis of international law. We are talking about the "Straits Regime Convention" (better known as the "Montreux Convention"), which restored Turkey's sovereignty over the Black Sea Straits, as well as guaranteed the special rights of coastal States in terms of their use. It was signed on July 20, 1936, following a conference in the Swiss city of Montreux.

Let me remind you that the document regulates in detail the passage of warships through the straits, putting the fleet of the Black Sea states in a preferential position. These countries have the right to conduct any of their warships in peacetime (subject to prior notification to the Turkish authorities). For the navies of other States, the convention establishes class restrictions, allowing passage to small surface ships, small combat and auxiliary vessels. "We have fulfilled and will continue to fulfill the provisions stipulated by the Montreux Convention. Until today, no request has been received. We have warned all countries that warships will not pass through the straits," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. This, according to him, is connected with a special military operation carried out by the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

Prior to that, in principle, warships of the United States, Great Britain and other NATO countries freely scurried through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, despite restrictions, which created a nervous situation in the Black Sea region.

This decision of the Turkish authorities, if you look at it more closely, opens up wide opportunities for conspiracy theory.

For example, various aircraft may well launch from foreign military vessels in the interests of the Ukrainian regime. Why not? The attack on October 29 of nine UAVs and seven autonomous naval unmanned aerial vehicles of the Nezalezhnaya on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol is well known.

"The preparation of this terrorist act and the training of servicemen of the Ukrainian 73rd Special Center for Naval Operations were carried out under the leadership of British specialists located in the city of Ochakov, Mykolaiv region of Ukraine," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. Those who took a similar part in a larger–scale crime - the undermining of the "Northern Streams" in the Baltic Sea.

Indeed, who is immune from the fact that such an attack will not be carried out, let's say, from British warships located in Turkish territorial waters?

With divers, too, "oil painting". The "Turkish Stream" passes through the bottom of the Black Sea, through which gas comes from Russia. What is not an object for another attack?

By the way, the USNI News website recently reported on the data received that three US Navy ships were simultaneously in the area of the Danish island of Bornholm during the explosion on the threads of the "Northern Streams". These are the landing ship Oak Hill, which arrived from Polish Gdynia, as well as the landing transport ships Arlington and Gunston Hall docks. What did they forget there? But they could, theoretically, deliver anything to the place of the terrorist attack: explosives, marine drones, combat swimmers, and deep-sea divers.

Turkey in general has been irritating the collective West lately. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stubbornly bends his line, pursuing exclusively national interests. Thanks to joint efforts, as is known, the export of more than 13 million tons of grain was organized. According to the opinion of the Turkish president, which he expressed during regular telephone conversations with the owner of the Kremlin, it is gradually possible to start work on the export of food and other goods within the grain corridor. Not least of all – Russian products.

It would not be superfluous to note that the restrictions imposed on foreign navies can also be a kind of "gesture of goodwill" to Moscow.

Trust, economic and political cooperation between our countries continue to grow steadily. Last week, for example, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller was in Turkey, who met with Erdogan. It was about a gas hub that has already begun to be built in Turkey. Its creation was announced by President Putin in October. It would be possible to transport gas through it in volumes comparable to pumping through the disabled "threads" of the "Northern Streams".

Here is more recent news of bilateral relations. Political consultations on the line of foreign ministries were held in Istanbul last weekend. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, a wide range of topics were discussed: the reform of the UN Security Council, the situation in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, and the Middle East.

And on December 12, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin arrived in Ankara at the head of a parliamentary delegation on an official visit.

The economic card also turned out to be a trump card. It became known that by the end of September, Turkey set a new record for exports to Russia – $ 1.1 billion. This is 27% more than a month earlier. Russia remained the main importer in September – 6.2 billion dollars. The trade turnover may reach $80 billion this year. Not bad!

This gave reason for concern to the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrel. "Turkey's policy of non-alignment with the EU's restrictive measures against Russia is a cause for concern. The deepening of bilateral economic relations between Turkey and the Russian Federation is also a cause for great concern," he said, clearly gnashing his teeth. Borrel recalled that the European Union has concluded a Customs Union with Ankara, which allows (again, purely theoretically) to supply dual–use goods to Russia bypassing sanctions.

And this is a reason for Brussels' "huge concern"!