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MOSCOW, December 8 /TASS/. Russia’s large landing ship Tsesar Kunikov (BDK-64) where Turkey allegedly noticed a sailor on the deck who was holding a man-portable air defense system on his shoulder had not breached a single article of the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"On December 4, the Turkish side noticed a sailor holding a man-portable air defense system on his shoulder on the deck of the Russian warship Tsesar Kunikov, which was sailing southward through the Bosporus. For some unknown reason, Ankara interpreted the incident as ‘provocative and posing a threat’," a report said.
"The Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed the Turkish side’s concern to the Russian ambassador to Turkey. According to Turkish diplomats, the incident allegedly aroused indignation in the local (Turkish) media," Zakharova went on to say.
"I would like to emphasize that the Russian ship did not violate a single article of the 1936 Montreux Convention, which regulates navigation in straits or any provisions of respective Turkish instructions. Any crew has a legitimate right to guard and protect its ship," the Russian diplomat said.
"When our diplomats asked the Turkish side what exactly it considered to be a violation they did not hear any coherent answer except for abstract references to some kind of ‘context and philosophy’ of international legal norms," Zakharova explained.