Ukrainian Tensions, US Intentions and Montreux

The tension in Ukraine between the U.S. and Russia continues. A Pentagon official explained to CNN that the United States is considering sending a warship to the Black Sea in the weeks ahead. NATO, American imperialism’s instrument of attack and occupation, is also involved in this issue, and has given support to Ukraine. The U.S. has stated that the only path to a solution is for Ukraine to become a NATO member. On the other hand, Russia has stated that the U.S. exacerbated relations, and took foolish and inconclusive steps. Russia has gathered troops at the Ukrainian border. This tension is also of direct concern to Turkey because the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is squarely at the center of this issue.

The U.S., which spies on Russia with war planes in Black Sea airspace, has provoked Ukraine to act against Russia, and is escalating tensions. The U.S. is finding pretexts and inventing excuses to deploy its Navy more frequently to the Black Sea, but even this does not satisfy America. The U.S. wants to be a permanent fixture in the Black Sea, secure bases, and fly its flag continuously. While there are currently three NATO member countries in the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria), the U.S. is trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO as well. Its goal is to turn the Black Sea, one of the world’s most serene, stable and secure seas, into the NATO Sea. To encircle Russia from the north and Turkey from the south. To damage relations between Turkey and Russia. To erect a barrier between Turkey and Eurasia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

This is one of the reasons why the U.S. opposes the Montreux Convention, insists on the Istanbul Canal and is hostile to our Kemalist and republican intellectuals, scientists, diplomats and military officers.* It is because the Montreux Convention completes and integrates the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. It ensures Turkey’s independence, territorial integrity and national sovereignty, and prevents U.S. designs on the Black Sea. This is because, according to the provisions of the Montreux Convention, if the United States wants to send warships to the Black Sea, it must notify Turkey 15 days in advance. The total weight of the ships that the U.S. may have on hand cannot exceed 45,000 tons. Ships weighing more than 15,000 tons cannot pass through the Bosporus. They cannot remain in the Black Sea more than 21 days. For this reason, the U.S. is trying to puncture and deactivate the Montreux Convention.

Georgian Lessons for Ukraine

Russia, however, is not falling for the United States’ provocations. It is coldblooded. It does not back down. It does not take things lying down. Even though no one is expecting an open clash between the two countries, they do know that the U.S. is using the Ukraine as its proxy in the region, and that the U.S. wants to install itself in the Black Sea by provoking and instigating Russia. So, does the U.S. hold Ukraine to account? It does not, because Moscow sees that the U.S. is encircling Russia from the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea. Therefore, Russia does not accept America’s new steps in the Black Sea. Russia showed that it would not accept such a move during the Russo-Georgian War in August 2008. Georgia expended its limited authority on Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but lost the war. Russia recognized the independence of these two countries, and its hold on them was fortified further. While Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili, who overly trusted the U.S. and did not pay attention to geography or the balance of power, spoke on the phone with a Western leader (President George W. Bush, according to reports), he was seen chewing on his red tie in anger.

These images are definitely burned in the memory of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

*Editor’s note: The Istanbul Canal is a project for the artificial sea-level waterway planned by Turkey to connect the Black Sea ultimately to the Mediterranean.

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