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Ukraine. Türkiye did not allow two British minesweepers donated to Ukraine to enter

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Two minesweepers (mine clearing ships) that Britain gave to Ukraine were unable to pass through the Turkish straits into the Black Sea. The Turkish authorities invoked the Montreux Convention. According to its provisions, warships from countries at war cannot sail through the Turkish straits. Reuters noted that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the authorities in Ankara have been trying to remain neutral.

Authorities Turkey said on Tuesday that they would not allow the two minesweepers to be transferred Ukraine Britain to pass through its waters on its way to the Black Sea because it would violate the international convention on the movement of vessels through the Turkish straits in times of war, Reuters reported.

Great Britain announced in December last year that it would donate two minesweepers from the resources of the Royal Navy to the Ukrainian Navy. Türkiye, a member FOR THISinformed allies on Tuesday that it would not allow ships to use the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits while war in Ukraine.

A minesweeper is a ship designed to remove mines using towed minesweepers, as well as to lay mines.

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Reuters recalled that since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the authorities in Ankara have been trying to maintain good relations with both Kiev and Moscow and remain neutral.

British minesweeper (illustrative photo)Ben Birchall/PA Images/Forum

Türkiye closed the straits to the Black Sea to Ukrainian and Russian warships

“The claim by some media that ‘mine clearing ships donated to Ukraine by Britain will be able to pass through the Turkish straits leading to the Black Sea’ is untrue. From the very beginning, Turkey has considered Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine a war and in accordance with Article 19 of the Montreux Convention, concerning the right to pass through the straits, closed them to warships of both belligerent parties (Russia and Ukraine),” the information center of the Turkish president’s office reported.

“Turkey, which has been impartially and conscientiously observing the Montreux Convention since 1936, (…) is trying to prevent the escalation of tensions in the Black Sea. Our most important allies have been duly informed that the minesweepers transferred to Ukraine by Great Britain will not be allowed to transit the Sea Black,” the statement added.

Montreux Convention

The Montreux Convention, concluded in 1936, is an agreement regulating the law of the sea in the Black Sea straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. It concerns the law and rules for the passage through the Black Sea straits of ships and vessels that do not belong to Turkey, in whose territorial waters the straits are located. Its signatories were Australia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Japan, Romania, Turkey, Great Britain and the USSR. It is still valid today. According to its provisions, warships of countries at war cannot pass through the Turkish straits during the war. Ships from other countries can, but according to the agreement, the authorities in Ankara have the final say on this matter – if Turkey believes that the passage of such a vessel may result in it being drawn into a war, it does not consent.

Main photo source: Ben Birchall/PA Images/Forum

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