Russian Pacific Fleet’s warships had been waiting for Turkey’s permission to cross the Bosporus into the Black Sea since early February, but Ankara never allowed them to enter.
According to Andriy Klymenko, head of the Monitoring Group of the Institute of Strategic Studies of the Black Sea and editor-in-chief of the BlackSeaNews portal, the warships have been waiting in the Mediterranean for eight months whilst approval was sought from Turkey to cross the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter Black Sea waters. According to a report by Klymenko on Tuesday 8th November, both the RFS VARYAG 011, a Slava Class Cruiser and the anti-submarine vessel RFS ADMIRAL TRIBUTS (564) have been filmed passing through the Singapore Strait on their way to the port of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast
In terms of the Montreux Convention, Russia requires Turkey’s approval to cross through the straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles to enter the Black Sea. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the strait to be closed after Russia invaded Ukraine in what he said was an effort to stop the war from escalating. At the time he said: “We are determined to temporarily use the authority conferred on us by the Montreux Convention to prevent the crisis from escalating.”
In terms of the convention Turkiye only has to allow wartime military vessel that are returning to a registered base in the Black Sea through the straits.
Turkey have been critical of the war in Ukraine and have played a leading role in negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That negotiation includes having prevented additional Russian warships from entering the fray by being denied entrance into the Black Sea.
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Published – Thursday 17th November, 2022