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Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

The Montreux Convention was signed to extend for a period of 20 years; thus it would have expired in 1956 in the event that any of the signatories objected to its tacit renewal. Since no country took such an action, one may assume that the balance struck in 1936 between the rights of the littoral and non-littoral countries appeared reasonable.

The provisions of the Montreux Convention came recently to the forefront during the Georgian crisis of August 2008: when the crisis broke out, the United States wanted to send a hospital ship of 69,000 tons to the Black Sea. When the relevant provisions of the Convention were brought to the attention of the United States, it did not insist and sent another ship within the allowed limits.

Each year, Turkey, in its capacity as the country that controls the Straits leading to the Black Sea, presents a report to the parties of the Convention informing them of the movement of naval vessels that cross the Turkish Straits. In a way the Convention entrusts Tur key with the task of registrar for the proper implementation of the Convention.

Military cooperation in the Black Sea


As far as security is concerned, one may talk of risks rather than threats in the Black Sea region. Littoral countries have the capacity to cope with these risks. There are two indigenous initiatives, both launched by Turkey, to address such risks: Blackseafor and Operation Black Sea Harmony. At present, these two initiatives are major security providers in the Black Sea maritime area. They are based on two pillars: a) the containment of all littoral countries; and b) the complementarity of maritime security to the Euro-Atlantic system, as such security is inseparable.

The accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union added a new dimension to the importance of the Black Sea maritime area, the Black Sea basin as a whole, and to the North-South axis. In this context, the role that the Black Sea could play in international Turkey on the European doorstep


Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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