Istanbul February 28 2022: Turkey has said it will apply the terms of an international agreement that could see it block access to the Black Sea for the Russian Navy.
Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the two straits that connect the Black Sea, which sits on Ukraine’s southern coast, to the Mediterranean.
The convention guarantees the free passage of vessels belonging to Black Sea countries - like Russia - in peacetime, but allows Turkey to close the straits to all foreign warships in a time of war or if Turkey itself is threatened.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said earlier: “We have decided that the situation in Ukraine has turned into a war. We will be transparently applying the provisions of Montreaux.”
Turkey, which is a Nato ally but is also dependent on Russia for energy and tourism, had previously called Russia’s attack unacceptable but stopped short of calling the situation a war.