Türkİye, World, Russia-Ukraine War

Turkiye: Eroding status quo of Montreux pact benefits no one

'Over the years, the status quo of Montreux has been maintained very successfully,' says Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar

Sarp Ozer and Mumin Altas   | 01.03.2022
Turkiye: Eroding status quo of Montreux pact benefits no one

ANKARA

Eroding the status quo of the Montreux Convention governing the Turkish Straits would benefit no one, Turkiye’s defense chief said Tuesday.

With the Russia-Ukraine war in its sixth day, the provisions of the 1936 pact – which controls access to the Black Sea, including coastal countries like Ukraine – has come into the international spotlight.

Speaking to reporters, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said: "Over the years, the status quo of Montreux has been maintained very successfully. While the convention is beneficial to all riparian countries, it also regulates the entry and exit of (ships of) other countries to the Black Sea."

Eroding Montreux’s status quo would help no one, he said, adding that as Turkiye has done so far, it will continue to implement the pact, mentioning in particular Articles 19, 20 and 21.

"We see benefit in maintaining the Montreux Convention. We continue our work within this framework. We consider it is beneficial for all parties to comply with the rules brought by Montreux," he added.

The 1936 convention gives Turkiye the authority to ban warships from the straits during times of war.

Since Russia's war on Ukraine began last Thursday, it has been met by outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions on Russia.

At least 102 civilians have been killed so far in Ukraine and more than a half a million have fled the country, according to UN officials.

Ukraine says more than 350 civilians have been killed and over 1,600 injured during attacks by Russian forces.


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