ANKARA, February 24. /TASS/. Ukraine has asked Ankara to restrict the passage of Russian warships through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits.
"I call on the Turkish administration to help Ukraine. We demand that the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits be closed to Russian warships," the Yeni Safak newspaper quoted Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vadily Bodnar as saying.
The envoy called "on all countries to establish a coalition against Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to stop the war from engulfing more of the region." "We are currently in a state of war. We urge the entire world to follow the rules of war. We all on the international community to impose sanctions on Putin," Bodnar said, emphasizing the need to block all of Russia’s overseas assets.
According to the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, Turkey has sovereignty over the straits of Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The document enshrines free passage through the straits for trade ships only. Black Sea nations may move military ships of any class through the straits during peacetime by notifying the Turkish authorities beforehand. Meanwhile, the document significantly limits the class and displacement of military ships for non-Black Sea nations. However, Turkey has additional powers to regulate traffic through the straits during wartime. Under certain circumstances, Ankara may ban a country from using the straits.
On Thursday morning, Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect the people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported later that the Russian Armed Forces were not delivering strikes against Ukrainian cities. The ministry emphasized that the Ukrainian military infrastructure was being destroyed by precision weapons and there was no threat to civilians.