MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. It is important to preserve the Montreux Convention amid Turkey’s plans for construction of the Istanbul Canal, Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored during the phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin press service announced Friday.
"In regards to Turkey’s plans for construction of the Istanbul Canal, Russia emphasized the importance of preservation of the 1936 Montreux Convention in order to ensure the regional stability and safety of the regional Black Sea straits regime," the announcement says.
The Kremlin press service underscored that, in general, "the fruitful Russian-Turkish dialogue will continue in all kinds of formats."
The 1936 Convention, signed in Montreux, Switzerland, cements Turkey’s sovereignty over Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, and stipulates free pass of trade ships through the straits, while significantly limiting the pass for non-Black Sea states’ military ships. With prior notification of Turkish authorities, Black Sea states can move any military ships through the straits during peaceful periods. However, non-Black Sea states’ ships are limited by class and displacement.
The Istanbul Channel, planned for construction west of Bosphorus, was first announced by Erdogan in 2011. In December 2019, the Turkish leader opined that navigation through the canal should not be covered by the Montreux Convention. On April 7, Erdogan stated that Turkey will not abandon the canal project under any circumstances.