MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Ukraine’s intentions to get Russian vessels banned from passing through the Bosporus Strait have no legal basis because Russia is not a country at war, since its border services acted according to international law during the Kerch Strait incident, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee on Defense and Security First Deputy Chairman, Franz Klintsevich, told reporters on Thursday.
Commander of the Ukrainian Navy Igor Voronchenko said earlier that day that Kiev would seek the closure of the Bosporus in the Republic of Turkey in accordance with the Montreux Convention, namely Paragraph 19.
The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits was adopted in 1936, restoring Turkey’s sovereignty over the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits. Ankara has the right to forbid the passage of warships if it finds itself at war, or if it sees a direct threat to its security.
“Legally speaking, Kiev’s intention to close down the Bosporus for Russian ships is useless. Paragraph 19 of the Montreux Convention, cited by Commander of the Ukrainian Navy Igor Voronchenko, has nothing to do with that,” he stated.
“Russia is not at war with anyone and is not going to wage one,” the legislator emphasized. “By strongly reacting to the illegitimate attempts of the Ukrainian naval vessels to pass through our territorial waters, the Russian border guards acted strictly in line with international law.”
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on November 25 that the Ukrainian warships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu had breached the Russian state border on Sunday morning and later attempted to carry out illegal maneuvers in Russia’s territorial waters later. The Ukrainian vessels ignored the legitimate demands of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet to immediately halt, and end performing dangerous maneuvers. As a result of blatantly disregarding the orders, a chase involving some gunfire ensued in order to stop the Ukrainian ships, which were detained in Russian territorial waters.
Moscow branded Kiev’s stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions.
On Wednesday, Crimean courts imposed two-month pre-trial detentions on all 24 Ukrainian sailors, who are suspected of breaching the Russian state border
The legislator added that it is the Russian court that would decide the fate of the detained Ukrainian navy crewmembers. “They are kind of hard evidence now,” Klintsevich stated, pointing out that Kiev might stage more provocations since the Ukrainian Navy head has refused to acknowledge that the decision to send its warships to the Sea of Azov had been wrong.
Article Sourced via TASS