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Türkiye to block passage of Ukraine-bound minehunter ships

Türkiye said on Tuesday that it will not let two minehunter ships donated by Britain to Ukraine pass through the Turkish Straits to the Black Sea in line with the 1936 Montreux Convention.

“Our pertinent allies have been duly apprised that the minehunter ships donated to Ukraine by Britain will not be allowed to pass through the Turkish Straits to the Black Sea as long as the war continues,” the presidential communications directorate said in a statement.

Last month, Britain said it would transfer two Royal Navy minehunter ships to the Ukrainian Navy to help enhance Ukraine’s sea operations in its conflict with Russia.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Türkiye has control over the naval transit through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits that connect the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The pact allows Ankara to regulate the transit of naval warships through the straits during wartime and when it is threatened.

Türkiye has maintained good ties with both Russia and Ukraine amid their conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country takes a “fair and balanced stance” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and strengthened ties with both countries. ■

Famagusta Gazette