Turkish minister says Russian warship violated Montreux deal

Turkish minister of transportation says Russian soldier carrying missile on warship violated Montreux convention regarding regime of Turkish Straits

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Minister of Transportation Binali Yildirim said on Sunday that a Russian warship’s passing the Bosphorus with a soldier carrying a missile on his shoulder violating the terms of Montreux Convention which regulates the regime of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

A Russian soldier was photographed on Saturday carrying a MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system) on his shoulder while passing through Bosphorus on the Russian warship, Tsezar Kunikov.

The act of Russian soldier on warship was definitely provocative and also meant violation of Montreux Convention, Yildirim said.

Turkish minister also said that within the scope of international laws all trade vessels have the right to pass through the straits as long as they do not have any threatening act or stance against Turkey.

‘’However if any threat risk is perceived, the government would take necessary steps,’’ Yildirim added.

The Montreux Convention is an agreement which was signed on 20 July 1936 at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland, allowing Turkey to control over the traits of Bosphorus and of Dardanelles along with regulating the transit of naval warships.

According to the convention, Turkey holds control over the straits and civilian vessels have right to free passage during peacetime.

The agreement restricts the passage of naval ships which do not belong to Black Sea states.

The articles of 20 and 21 of Montreux Convention state that  ‘’[20] In time of war, Turkey being belligerent, the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government and [21] should Turkey consider herself to be threatened with imminent danger of war she shall have the right to apply the provisions of Article 20 of the present Convention.’’

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said on Sunday that if Turkey perceived any threat, it would react appropriately while noting that the principles of Montreux Convention, have been properly and impartially implemented by Turkey for more than seven decades.

Cavusoglu also said that he believes Russia and Turkey would resolve the high tension which Turkey had never wanted to have, emphasising on the importance of engaging in dialogue.

He said, “The dialogue between Russia and Turkey should continue in order to achieve this goal,” during his speech to Russian citizens living in Antalya.

“We had a useful meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Belgrade," he said. 

"We have different point of views, but we should continue our talks in order to reduce these differences."


TRTWorld and agencies