…from VT Editors

[ Editor’s Note: This is quite a strange story, especially with its having been kept out of the news for three days. These are the times when someone knocks on our door.

The spat over the US being aggressive in the Black Sea, like having more than one ship in at a time and flipping the bird in Turkey, has been ongoing for some time.

Could Haftar be getting in over his head now in Libya over his torpedoing the permanent ceasefire?

The US land-based Aegis missile system was there earlier, the one that Putin had complained could be converted to a “first strike” missile launch facility in a few hours by reloading the launch tubes with offensive explosive missiles versus the kinetic energy ones used for intercept, or it could configure the launchers with half of each.

So I had to ask the textbook required question of “why now”, and what came up three days ago was Haftar saying “screw you” to the permanent ceasefire talks where Putin had invested a lot of political capital and Erdogan, also. At first, Haftar was in, and then he was out like someone pulled his chain. Guess who that might have been?

And then boom, we have this “rabbit out of the hat” game-changer for the Black Sea. We will be updating this story as we get more informationJim W. Dean ]

– First published … January 21, 2020

Erdogan, in an interview with CNN-Turkey, announced that he; “intends to put an end to the free passage of ships through the Bosphorus, as established by the Montreux Convention of 1936.”

From Avia Pro:

“Turkey began to block the passage of NATO ships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea, thereby indicating its position against the North Atlantic Alliance. According to the Nordic Monitor, restrictions on the passage of NATO warships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea are already in effect, and therefore, even US Navy ships cannot freely enter the Black Sea region.

“At the meeting, Turkish officials emphasized that stability in the Black Sea should be maintained (paragraph 2.a); NATO activities will be supported in accordance with the restrictions imposed by the Montreux Convention (paragraph 2.b), and Russia should not be unduly provoked (paragraph 2.b), military protocols are disclosed. Turkey is a key country in the Black Sea because it controls the entry and exit to the sea through a system of straits, which includes the Istanbul / Bosphorus Strait, the Dardanelles / Canakkale Strait and the Sea of ​​Marmara, connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas ”– сообщает “Nordic Monitor” by providing relevant documents.”

According to current data, several NATO warships have already been denied passage through the Bosphorus, moreover, Ankara motivated this by the existing convention and agreements, however, experts draw attention to the fact that Turkey actively supports Russia trying to prevent any provocations from the North Atlantic alliance.

Подробнее на: Avia-Pro.net


What is Erdogan going to do

The Turkish leader plans to dig a new canal by the end of 2025, which, “bypassing the Bosphorus, will connect the Black and Marmara Seas.”

“Erdogan argued that the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini writes that” Americans feel too free in the Black Sea. “


What has Turkey already begun to do

But conversations are conversations, and, as AVIA.PRO reports today with reference to the Nordic Monitor portal, “Turkey has begun to block the passage of NATO ships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea.

According to the author of the publication, in this way Erdogan finally “indicates his position against the North Atlantic Alliance.” According to Nordic Monitor, today the US Navy ships cannot enter the Black Sea region without hindrance.

“NATO’s activities will be supported in accordance with the restrictions imposed by paragraph 2. b of the Montreux Convention. This is the requirement of Turkey, which considers itself a key country in the Black Sea on the basis that it controls the entry and exit to the sea through a system of straits, including among others, the Bosphorus Strait, connecting the Black and Mediterranean Seas, “says Nordic Monitor.


Why Erdogan overlaps the Bosphorus

According to the publication, several (the number is not specified – approx. Ed.) NATO military courts have already been denied passage through the strait.

“And although Ankara’s motivation is confirmed by the convention, there is every reason to believe that Erdogan is trying as actively as possible to prevent provocations against Russia from the North Atlantic Alliance,” the material says.


Turkish Navy Drill

Turkey opposed permanent NATO presence in the Black Sea, rebuffed Romanian proposal

Nordic Monitor – Ahead of the NATO Warsaw summit in 2016, Romania sought Turkey’s support for establishing a permanent NATO presence in the Black Sea region but was rejected by Ankara, a confidential Turkish military document obtained by Nordic Monitor has confirmed.

According to the minutes of a meeting issued by the Plans and Principles Directorate of the Turkish General Staff in May 2016, representatives from the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the relevant military forces and the Coast Guard Command met on May 26, 2016, to discuss Romanian proposals to establish a permanent NATO base in the Black Sea and to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two littoral states.

The minutes reveal that Romania had requested Turkey’s support for its diplomatic initiative aimed at setting up a regional naval command under NATO’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), the headquarters of all NATO maritime forces. However, Turkish officials agreed to reject the Romanian proposal since it did not comply with Turkey’s policy on the Black Sea, the minutes stated.

Turkey had previously expressed concern about perceived Russian ambitions in the Black Sea region and called for a greater NATO presence there; however, its relations with Russia have improved since 2016, and Turkey has become resistant to backing a more substantial NATO role in the Black Sea.

The first page of the Turkish military document:

Turkish officials stressed at the meeting that stability in the Black Sea should be maintained (paragraph 2.a); NATO activities would be supported in accordance with the limitations imposed by the Montreux Convention (paragraph 2.b), and Russia should not be unnecessarily provoked (paragraph 2.b), the military minutes revealed.

Turkey is a key country in the Black Sea since it controls the entrance and exit to the sea through the Turkish Straits System, which includes the Istanbul/Bosporus strait, the Dardanelles/Çanakkale strait and the Marmara Sea, connecting the Black and Mediterranean seas.

The l936 Montreux Convention gave the country control over the system and guaranteed the free passage of civilian vessels during peacetime. The convention stipulates that only littoral states can have a standing naval presence in the Black Sea. The tonnage and time spent in the Black Sea by ships from non-littoral states are restricted to 21 days, and submarines and aircraft carriers of non-littoral states are banned altogether.

The second page of the document:

The Foreign Ministry was working on Turkey’s maritime security concept in the Black Sea, and a new concept paper was to take the Romanian and Bulgarian proposals into account, the minutes stated. According to the military document, the Bulgarian bilateral cooperation plan was not discussed during the meeting.

Moreover, the minutes underlined that the Turkish officials agreed not to oppose the formation of a multinational land brigade in Romania, adding that a Turkish brigade would be affiliated with the Romanian Multinational Division South-East (MND-SE). Romania’s initiative to launch the Combined Joint Enhanced Training Center would also be supported by Turkey.

NATO exercise in the Black Sea in July 2019 (Photo: NATO web page)

Romania was invited to join the North Atlantic Alliance at the NATO summit in Prague in 2002 along with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia and officially became a NATO member in March 2004. Four years later, it hosted the NATO summit in Bucharest on April 2-4, 2008.

According to its military strategy document, Romania, in terms of the NATO Force Structure, hosts the Multinational Division Southeast Headquarters, the NATO Force Integration Unit, the Deployable Communications Module Element, and the Deveselu Missile Defense Base.

Romania considered Russia’s takeover of Crimea in March 2014 a direct threat and pressed NATO to have a strong presence in the Black Sea. Following the annexation of Crimea, naval assets from several allied nations and NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 increased military exercises in the region and regularly train for combat proficiency in the Black Sea. Furthermore, a Black Sea functional center has been established within MARCOM, and a multinational land brigade was formed in Craiova, Romania.

Last page of the document:

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8 COMMENTS

  1. IF One looks carefully it is evident that Everything is unravelling for USA and since Everyone is Sick of USA Militarism so Everyone is turn by turn refusing Everything …… Iran will kick out USA , Turkey and Russia don’t want them anywhere near and Venezuela scared the American Tub away ……. Everybody is sick and Tired of Endless USA invasions ……. Time to pack up everything Everyuwhere …….. As it always happens in USA the Politicians say what the people need to hear and later it’s quite another story …… Humpty Trumpty Promised to Bring the Boys Home and IF this goof messes with Russia the Boys are coming Home alright but in Boxes with a flag ………

    • Actually this Russia Idiocy is the limit and IF the Soldiers don’t speak up now and Shut up Pompous and Trumpety then they won’t live to speak ever again …. Time to Stand up Firm is Now ……

  2. Ever since the US Navy put a port near Odecca, Ukraine,in order to protect everyone – including the Neo Nazis, Nato, the Ukie army { navy- lol } and the globalist corporations like Monsanto, Carghill etc., the Crimea has been classified as a hot zone and pretty much in a state of war – concerning the waters around Crimea. This is how Russia interpreted, yet another threat and Turkey, being the controller of the Straits { as Russia is for the Azov straits } has made a very reasonable and honest ruling. I {we } have to call into the military 4 hrs , before we can enter the water with our boats – before this BS – that wasn’t the case . Imagine if every boat in Florida had to do this BS ? Make the Black Sea free water again – kick out Nato, the US and other warmongering countries that are only there to start wars. Spacibo Jim and VT

  3. The Montreaux Convention is being broken and this might be an advanced breaking of it to strategically circumvent similar arguments re: the Istanbul Canal. Turkey took a very calculated risk here. They know the likelihood of an ICJ challenge is low here right now as NATO/the US are still soliciting Turkey. And then later, they will be able to ask, “What Montreaux Convention?”, as others attempt to get military access to the Istanbul Canal. Strategically, some brilliant moves. I can recommend an equally cunning counter-strategy with strategic depth already, but no one’s paying me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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