As media report, Turkish authorities prevent Russian vessels passing through the Bosphorus Strait which constitutes a clear violation of international norms, resulting to dozens of Russian ships waiting for hours to get Turkey’s permission to pass.
RIA Novosti cited Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, who said that a possible unilateral closure by Turkey of the Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships would be out of line with international law.
“Turkey will not close the strait to Russian vessels en route to Syria because it would be a violation of international law and the Montreux Convention, in particular, — a document that was signed by most counties at the time”, he said.
As Sputnik mentions, the 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits regulates the passage of civilian and naval ships through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles.
According to Article 2, “merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities.”.
Regarding naval warships, Turkey must permit the passage of small and medium-sized vessels belonging to all nations during the times of peace.
The Black Sea powers, including Russia, can navigate warships of any class through the Straits, “on condition that these vessels pass through the Straits singly, escorted by not more than two destroyers.”