Turkey opened the Bosphorus to the Russian ship carrying S-300
ANKARA ($1=18.17 Turkish Liras) — On August 28, the Russian ship Sparta II, hired by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, crossed the Bosphorus in the direction of Russia. This ship was carrying the Russian S-300PMU-2 anti-aircraft missile system. This system was disassembled in Syria and loaded onto the ship at Tartus port. BulgarianMilitary.com wrote that Moscow is trying to strengthen its anti-aircraft defense and that is why it is necessary to return the system back to Russia.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed concern to the ambassador of Turkey about the passage of the ship Sparta II. On August 29, the Ambassador of Turkey to Ukraine Yagmur Ahmet Guldere was invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Deputy Minister Mykola Tochytsky presented him with a note verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
It is noted that Tochitsky drew the attention of the Turkish ambassador that according to the provisions of the Convention on the Regime of the Straits of July 20, 1936, the said vessel falls under the definition of a warship.
Turkey hasn’t violated the Montreux Convention
Despite the displeasure expressed by the Ukrainian authorities, Turkey has the right to allow the Russian warship to pass through the Bosphorus. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that at the end of February, Turkey decided to close the Bosphorus to the warring parties.
“This conflict has already turned into a war; in this situation, we apply accordingly [the Montreux Convention] to one of the parties [in the conflict] – Russia or Ukraine,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, quoted by the Turkish website Duvar.
After his speech, Mevlut Cavusoglu immediately hastened to remind both warring parties that Article 19 of the convention provides for an exception. “If the ship of a belligerent country returns to its own port, an exception is made. We will transparently apply all the provisions of [the] Montreux Convention,” Cavusoglu said.
After the Ukrainian authorities classified Sparta II as a warship, Turkey has the right to allow it to return to its own port. Thus, Turkey has not violated the Montreux Convention and continues to strictly and transparently observe it.
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