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The passage of civilian and naval ships through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles is controlled by the 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits. According to Article 2, “merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities”.
From a legal perspective, Turkey has no legal grounds to create obstacles for Russian vessels carrying cargo, including military cargo, Russian lawyer Vladimir Morkovkin told RBK.
Turkey can ban non-friendly vessels from navigating through the Straits only if at war, the expert explained.
If passage is prohibited for Russia there is still the way through the Gibraltar (which takes 13-14 days rather than four days through the Bosphorus) or by air.
However, if for military needs, Russian Navy has demonstrated in previous days to be able to launch precise and devastating attacks also from its waters in the Caspian Sea.