Moscow vows to ensure compliance with Montreux Convention

Non-regional actors increase tensions in the Black Sea, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, adding Moscow would ensure compliance with the Montreux Convention on the status of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Turkey, which has the rights to control the transit of warships through the straits, maintains a special role in regard to implementing the convention, Cumhuriyet cited the ministry as saying.

Montreux, which provides free passage to civilian ships during peace time and restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states, was signed in 1936.

Turkey has stirred up domestic and international controversy through plans to build Istanbul Canal, which will turn a large portion of the city into an island.  Critics maintain the $9.2 billion project has could threaten the Montreux Convention that has governed passage through the Straits for decades. Construction on the project kicked off last month.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation regarding how the provisions of the convention are being implemented in practice, including limiting the total maximum tonnage during transit,’’ the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry also said it would keep an eye on the maximum tonnage of warships of non-coastal countries in the Black Sea and the duration of their stay in the Black Sea.

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