The US military has requested the State Department to notify Ankara of its potential plan to sail a warship in the Black Sea’s waters through the Bosphorus Strait.
The US demand is based on the Montreux Convention and it comes amid rising tensions in the region after the seizure of Ukrainian ships around the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea, and the detention of 24 sailors by Moscow.
Although it has not announced its official stance on this looming confrontation, Ankara’s reaction following its diplomatic correspondence with Washington will, therefore, be of critical importance.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided Arab News with a detailed official reaction on the issue.
“Turkey has been implementing the Montreux Convention for more than 82 years with absolute impartiality and meticulousness.
Within this context, the passage of military ships belonging to non-littoral states, as well as those belonging to littoral states from the Turkish straits, takes place according to the principles and rules that are in the convention,” the statement said.
Russia’s latest actions allegedly provoked US President Donald Trump to cancel his planned meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during the G20 summit in Argentina.
Under the 1936 agreement, a country that does not have a coastline on the Black Sea is required to notify Turkey at least 15 days in advance about the passage of its military vessels through the straits connecting the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
Accordingly, a US ship can only remain in the Black Sea for 21 days. The US last had a ship in the region in October.
The Black Sea falls under the activity area of the US European Command (EUCOM).
Meanwhile, reminiscent of Cold War-type tensions between the two powers, an American destroyer recently sailed off the Russian coast, near the Pacific Fleet base in Vladivostok.