Armed Conflicts
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"Turkish block" in the passage of 2 UK minesweepers from the "Straits" to Ukraine - The involvement of the Eurofighter sale and the Russian-Turkish plan

The war in Ukraine continues with particular ferocity, with the Russian armed forces scoring victories in the east of the country, while at the same time carrying out a merciless hammering with drones and missiles against the capital Kiev and Kharkiv.

F-16s and USVs will seriously threaten the Russian Black Sea fleet 

However, things are not going well for the Russians at sea, as the Ukrainians recently succeeded in fatally striking a large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet docked in Theodosia, eastern Crimea.

The worst is yet to come for Russian warships, as the delivery of the first F-16s to Ukraine is imminent in the coming months, and we should not forget the role of Ukrainian USVs in strikes or attempts against Russian ships in the port of Sevastopol in Crimea, which has been evacuated as a precautionary measure by main surface units of the Russian fleet.

The laying of sea mines by the Russians threatens free navigation in the Black Sea

In particular, to avoid future strikes by Ukrainian USVs, the Russians may increasingly lay mines in the Black Sea, while interfering with the free navigation of merchant ships carrying Ukrainian grain and steel through the Istanbul Strait.

These were noticed by the British who sought to send two of their mineships to Ukraine as a gift, but were met with a refusal by Turkey.

The Turkish refusal to allow British minesweepers to pass through the Straits 

Specifically, according to the British International Media, "Turkey has rejected Britain's attempt to send two minesweepers to Kiev through its waters, saying it will refuse passage to any military vessels linked to Russia or Ukraine as long as the war continues.

Announcing the intention to transfer the ships in question last month, UK Defence Secretary Grant Shaps said the move was part of a collective effort by Britain and Norway to strengthen the Ukrainian navy.


Strong naval forces are critical for Kiev against Russian aggression, facilitating shipments of grain and steel through the Black Sea, Shaps said.

However, Turkey says it has informed its NATO allies that it has an international obligation not to allow ships belonging to any of the "belligerents" in the conflict to use the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits.

"Our allies have been duly informed that the minesweepers donated to Ukraine by the UK will not be allowed to pass through the Turkish Straits in the Black Sea as long as the war continues," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said in a statement posted on the social media platform X , Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said.

The provisions of the 1936 Montreux Convention

The statement added that Turkey closed the straits in accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention as soon as the invasion began in February 2022.

"Turkey immediately characterized Russia's special military operation against Ukraine as 'war' and, in accordance with Article 19 of the Montreux Convention on the Status of the Straits, closed the Straits to the warships of the belligerent parties (Russia and Ukraine)," it said, while criticizing "misinformation about British minesweepers"

The presidency said that Turkey has applied the Montreux Convention, which governs maritime traffic through the Turkish Straits, "impartially and scrupulously" in order to prevent an escalation of the conflict in the Black Sea.

According to the pact, ships returning to their bases are exempt, but neither Russia nor Ukraine have expressed any intention of passing their warships through the Turkish straits in the Black Sea since the war began.

Turkey also warned the states outside the Black Sea at the time the war started not to send warships through the straits.

According to the Montreux Convention, warships of non-belligerent parties can transit the straits in wartime.

But the convention also says Ankara has the final say over the passage of all warships if Turkey believes it is in danger of being drawn into war.

Ankara has maintained ties with both Kiev and Moscow throughout the conflict and has taken part in peace talks aimed at ending the war."

Turkey's refusal is consistent with negative developments for itself in the sale of the Eurofighter

In addition to the above, the Turkish refusal to the UK for the passage of the 2 minesweepers through the Straits, is in our estimation consistent in time with the negative developments for Ankara on the issue of the sale of 40 EUROFIGHTER fighters , demonstrating that London's efforts to Cagellario Solts to advocate for their sale did not work.

Russia and Turkey have drawn up a plan according to which they want to turn the Black Sea into their lake, with the Turkish Naval Chief of Staff acting as Erdogan's "rabbit" with his statements, as we had pointed out in an earlier article.

The Russian-Turkish plan to control the Black Sea

Erdogan looks forward to sharing the Black Sea with his friend Putin after the end of the war in Ukraine, by satelliteing Romania-Bulgaria-Ukraine, which have negligible naval forces compared to those of Russia and Turkey.

A stepping stone for this is the "Trilateral Initiative" involving only Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, for the disarmament of the Black Sea under Erdogan's "tutelage".

He wants the Turkish President to elevate the Black Sea as a Turkish "mare nostrum" using it as a lever to pressure the US-NATO to serve its own purposes, excluding them from any activity in it.

Indicative of how Turkey sees its position in NATO vis-à-vis Russia is the arrangement of the Turkish navy and its many bases in the Aegean-NE Mediterranean compared to almost none in the Black Sea.







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