ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey stated on Tuesday it could not permit two British minehunter ships to transit its waters en path to the Black Sea to be used by Ukraine since it could violate a global pact regarding wartime passage of the straits.

Britain stated final month it could switch two Royal Navy minehunter ships to the Ukrainian Navy to assist strengthen Ukraine’s sea operations in its warfare with Russia.

NATO member Turkey knowledgeable allies that it could not permit the vessels to make use of its Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits so long as the warfare in Ukraine continues, stated the presidency’s communications directorate.

When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Turkey triggered the 1936 Montreux Conference, successfully blocking passage of navy ships for the combatants. The pact exempts ships returning to residence bases.

Turkey has carried out Montreux impartially and meticulously to forestall escalation within the Black Sea, the presidency stated.

Ankara maintains good ties with each Kyiv and Moscow amid the warfare.

(Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever; Modifying by Jonathan Spicer and Gareth Jones)

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