Russia is violating the Montreux Convention, which regulates the usage of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits and the Sea of Marmara, said Ukrainian General Staff spokesperson Leonid Zalyubovskiy, as reported by Ukrinform. The Ukrainian military has documented heightened activity of Russian submarines in the Bosporus strait, he noted.
“By pretending to do technical maintenance, Russia is effectively carrying out a full-fledged deployment of submarines in the Mediterranean region,” the spokesperson explained. He did not clarify how many Russian submarines had been detected by the Ukrainian military, but remarked that what Moscow is doing is a “blatant violation of international law”.
Ukraine has already notified Turkey, which is responsible for the strait according to the convention. Ankara is aware of the situation and is investigating, Zalyubovskiy noted.
Zalyubovskiy also made mention of the increased Russian activity in the Mediterranean and Black seas observed by Ukraine over the last two months during a recent international scientific conference on maritime law in Kyiv. According to the convention, submarines from states bordering on the Black Sea can only leave the sea for repairs or servicing.
The convention in question was signed in Montreux, Switzerland on 20 July 1936 and came into force on 9 November that same year. Initially it was signed by the Soviet Union, Australia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, the UK, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Japan and France, and Cyprus became a signatory in 1969. The document regulates the passage of military vessels through the Turkish Straits.