Montreux Convention

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    • Turkey is activating the Montreux Convention in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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    • Meaning:
      • Turkey is set to implement an international convention on naval passage through two of its strategic straits, which would allow them to limit the movement of Russian warships between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.
    • Significance of the move:
      • The declaration authorized Turkey to activate the Montreux Convention and ban Russian war vessels from entering the Black Sea through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.
      • In the event of a war, the pact gives Turkey the right to regulate the transit of naval warships and to block the straits to warships belonging to the countries involved in the conflict.
    • The Bosporus and Dardanelles straits:
      • Also known as the Turkish Straits or the Black Sea Straits, connect the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea via the Sea of Marmara.
      • It is the only passage through which the Black Sea ports can access the Mediterranean and beyond.
      • Over three million barrels of oil, about three per cent of the daily global supply, mostly produced in Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, pass through this waterway every day.
      • The route also ships large amounts of iron, steel, and agricultural products from the Black Sea coast to Europe and the rest of the world.
      • According to the 1936 Montreux Convention Turkey has control over both the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.
    • Article 19 of the treaty:
      • It contains an exception for the countries on the Black Sea that can effectively undermine Turkey’s power in blocking the Russian warships entering or exiting the Black Sea.
      • Vessels of war belonging to belligerent powers, whether they are Black Sea Powers or not, which have become separated from their bases, may return thereto.
      • That means warships can return to their original bases through the passage and Turkey cannot prevent it.
      • According to the treaty, vessels that Russia decides to bring into the Black Sea or take out, will have to remain there until the end of the war.

    Source: IE