Ukraine Asks Turkey To Close Bosphorus And Dardanelles Straits To Russian Warships

Ukraine has requested Turkey to close down the Bosphorus and Dardanelles for Russia’s vessels, Kyiv’s ambassador to Ankara reportedly said, as Russia had introduced air and ground assaults on its neighbouring nation. Such a request made on Thursday puts Turkey, a NATO member that shares a maritime border with Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, having good relations with both the countries, in a difficult position.

Per 1936’s accord, Turkey cannot control the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. It will not be able to regulate transits of any naval warships. It ensures free passage of civilian vessels during peacetime and limits the passage of vessels that do not belong to countries that border the Black Sea.

During the war, or when threatened by any kind of aggression, Turkey is permitted to close straits to any foreign warships. It is also allowed to refuse transit for merchant vessels belonging to countries that are at war with Turkey. It can also fortify straits when there is conflict.

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Non-Black Sea countries wanting to send vessels must inform Turkey at least 15 days in advance, while Black Sea countries must give notification before eight days. The passage is restricted to nine warships and of a particular aggregate tonnage at one time, with no vessel exceeding 10,000 tonnes permitted a pass.

A vessel belonging to a non-Black Sea nation cannot cross 30,000 tonnes at any point, and the ships are permitted to remain in the region for not over 21 days. Black Sea states may transit vessels of any tonnage.

Black Sea countries are permitted to send their submarines via the straits with notice beforehand, as long as they’ve been bought/built by them or sent out for repairs outside the Black Sea.

When it comes to civil aircraft, transit along routes authorized by Turkey’s government is allowed. The accord doesn’t have restrictions on the passage of aircraft carriers, but it has significant control over it as well.

Reference: aljazeera.com

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