Turkey has taken strong steps to prevent the passage of warships
Turkish Straits (Illustration/Anadolu)

US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nolan said Turkey has taken “strong steps” to prevent the passage of warships through the straits as part of the Montreux Convention, with the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

This came during a special session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Ukraine, in which it touched on Turkey’s decision regarding the Montreux Convention.

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Victoria Jane Nuland noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s placing of more weapons systems in Crimea is a source of concern and threatens the free movement of ships in much of the Black Sea.

She pointed out that the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “NATO” periodically conduct maneuvers to prove their presence there.

She indicated that the United States is working with Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, adding: “Turkey has taken strong steps within the framework of the Montreux Convention to prevent the passage of warships since the beginning of the (Russian-Ukrainian) conflict, and we are working on these issues.”

Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is determined to use its powers stemming from the Montreux Convention regarding the transit of ships through the straits, in a way that prevents the escalation of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that his country has notified all countries not to send its warships to cross the Turkish straits.

The Montreux Convention on Maritime Straits, signed in 1936, allows the passage of warships belonging to countries that are not riparian to the Black Sea, from the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits, provided that Turkey is notified of the passage 15 days in advance, and to stay in the Black Sea for a period not exceeding 21 days.

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At the dawn of last February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

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