Monday, December 14, 2015

Russian Navy clashes with Turkish vessel impeding drill platform convoy in Black Sea

by Ivan Ackerov - Russian corrspondent

Russian coast guard ship involved in incident with Turkish vessel

Tensions increase again today in the middle east as once again, a Turkish vessel manoeuvres in a provocative way by obstructing the free movement of Russian ships in the Black Sea. It is now not just reasonable to conclude Turkey's President Erdogan is acting as Obama's proxy in trying to provoke an act of aggression by the Kremlin that would give Washington they excuse they want to start a shooting war with Russia in a final bid to remove the Assad regime in Syria which has stayed in power due to Vladimir Putin propping it up against the attacks of US sponsored Islamic State rebels.

In the second naval incident involving Russian and Turkish vessels in two days, we have received reports that a Russian missile cruiser and coast guard powerboat were ordered to intervene after a merchant vessel flying the Turkish flag blocked a convoy transporting two drill platforms to a new location in Moscow's territorial waters. (From yesterday's Boggart Abroad: Russian Navy Destroyer "Fires Warning Shots" To Avoid Collision With Turkish Ship)

The decision to relocate the rigs closer to Crimea was caused by the complicated international situation , according to a press release from the Russian Chernomorneftegaz state company which owns the platforms. The current escalation in Turkish belligerence has been caused by Turkey's shooting down of a Russian military aircraft ir retalitation for Russia's outing of President Recep Erdogan and his son Bilal as war criminals profiting hugely from illegal oil trades with the Islamic State terrorists.

While the two rigs were being moved to their new location, a vessel flying the Turkish flag crossed the convoy’s path.

“Acting in violation of regulations for preventing collisions and against the generally-accepted conventions of navigation, the Turkish vessel failed to get out of the way of the convoy. It approached crossways and attempted to stop its course, thus creating potential for a collision,” Chernomorneftegaz said in a statement, stressing that the captain of the Turkish vessel operated radio silence despite requests to respond.

The outbreak of of the incidents involving Russian and Turkish ships is "an overture to the Turkish intention to raise the issue of renegotiating the Montreux Convention [regulating passage of the foreign ships through the Turkish straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles]," Professor Srdja Trifkovich, foreign affairs editor of the Chronicles Magazine, told RT.

Trifkovich explained that the Montreux Convention (signed in 1936) must be renewed every 20 years, so in 2016 the convention will have to be re-signed.

"Obviously, this would be a handy time for the Turks to start raising tension and to start claiming that the number of incidents – for which they, of course, would blame the Russian side – indicates the need to impose some as yet unknown restrictions on the passage of the Russian warships through the straits," Trifkovich said, stressing that in the past similar incidents had occurred but were quite rare.

Trifkovich noted that an escalation in tensions between Russia-Turkey over the straits would be a serious issue major one, given the fact that having right of way through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits from The Black Sea to The Mediterranean has been an imperative of Russian foreign policy since the 18th century.

The strait issue is particularly sensitive now as Russia is conducting a counter-terrorist operation in Syria. The shortest sea route to Syria passes through the Bosporus and Dardanelles.

Turkey decries sighting of Russian ‘soldier with manpad’ on ship passing Istanbul

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