Russia appreciates Turkey’s stance concerning straits: Envoy
Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov has expressed Moscow’s appreciation of Turkey’s implementation of the Montreux Convention that restricts the passage of the warships to the Black Sea amid ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“I have to tell that we appreciate Turkey’s stance concerning the preservation and implementation of the Montreux Convention, which is an important document of international law,” Yerkhov told in an interview with private broadcaster Habertürk on March 3.
The envoy informed that he was in constant dialogue with Turkish officials on the use of Turkish straits and the implementation of the 1936-dated Montreux Convention, which authorizes Turkey to restrict the passage of warships through the Bosporus and Dardanelles in times of war.
The Turkish government said it asked all littoral countries and relevant parties not to ask to use the straits in a bid not to further escalate the tension in the Black Sea. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey rejected Russia’s appeal of passing four warships to the Black Sea.
“Russia has said four of its ships would cross the straits on Feb 27-28, three of which are not registered to bases in the Black Sea,” he had told in an interview. “We told Russia not to send these ships, and Russia said the vessels would not cross the straits. Nobody should be offended by this because the Montreux Convention was valid yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow. So we will implement it,” he said.
Ambassador Yerkhov underlined the importance of the Montreux Convention for Russia as well, stressing, “I believe we can come to a point where our interests and wishes can be realized all together.”
The Russian army is in Ukraine in line with Russia’s legitimate national security concerns as the inclusion of Ukraine into NATO would break one of Russia’s most important red lines, Yerkhov said, blaming the West for ignoring Moscow’s concerns for years.