Ukraine asks Turkey to close straits for Russian warships

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'Ukraine has asked Turkey to close the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to Russian ships, Ukraine's ambassador to Ankara said on Thursday, after Russia launched air and ground assaults on its neighbor.

The request puts NATO member Turkey, which shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good relations with both countries, in a difficult position. Under a 1936 pact, Ankara has control over the straits and can limit warship passages during wartime or if threatened.

"We are calling for the air space, Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to be closed. We have conveyed our relevant demand to the Turkish side. At the same time, we want sanctions imposed on the Russian side. Particularly, we demand the seizure of the shares of the Russian business world here," Ambassador Vasyl Bodnar told a news conference in Ankara.

He underlined the importance of providing defense weapons, as well as financial and humanitarian assistance.'

- Ukraine asks Turkey to close straits for Russian warships, February 24, 2022


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