Ukraine asks Turkey to close Black Sea straits to Russian vessels: Envoy

Ukraine has demanded Turkey to close its straits for Russian vessels, Ukraine's Ambassador to Ankara Vasyl Bodnar said on Feb. 24, after Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine.

"We conveyed our official request to the Turkish side regarding the closure of the airspace, the Dardanelles [Strait] and Bosphorus [Strait] for Russian ships," he told reporters at a press conference.

Bodnar also called for imposing sanctions on Russian businessmen. "At the same time, we want sanctions to be imposed on the Russian side. In particular, we request seizure of the shares of businessmen and to prevent them from making money," he said.

Bodnar called on the whole world to form a coalition against Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to prevent the expansion of the war. He also asked for the support of the Turkish nation.

"We call on you to prevent the aggression in question. Today, Ukraine is protecting your security," he stated.

He stressed the importance of providing defense weapons and support for Ukraine's defense. Financial support and humanitarian support are also important, he added.

The envoy also called on Turkey to show support for the citizens of Ukraine who are currently in Turkey.

According to the 1936-dated Montreux Convention, merchant vessels enjoy the freedom of passage through the Turkish Straits, the Dardanelles and Bosphorus, while the passages of war vessels are subject to some restrictions which vary depending on whether these vessels belong to Black Sea riparian states.

Besides some general restrictions applicable to all, vessels of war belonging to non-riparian states are subject to specific restrictions, such as those regarding maximum aggregate tonnage and the length of stay in the...

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