Chief editor of «Maritime Bulletin», a well-known expert in the navigation of Mikhail Voytenko published a commentary under the title «Turkey can strangle the Syrian operation of Russia without a single shot».
Voitenko noted that after the Turkish air force has shot down a Russian su-24 bomber on the border of Turkey and Syria, many experts and political analysts «lashed out at Turkish Straits, evaluating how Turkey will be able to block them».
«Turkey does not need to violate any of the Montreux Convention and the UN in order to block this important for the Russian Federation artery. There are several variants of development of events, – writes M. Voitenko. – Assume that Turkey will be limited by overlap of the channel of supply of the Russian operation in Syria. If we talk about relatively peaceful overlap, it is not complete, but is likely to be critical. Most of the vessels that supply the defenders of the sacredness in Syria, are purely trading under flags of convenience or flag of the Russian Federation. Part of the ships were transferred or are transferred to the auxiliary fleet of the Navy of the Russian Federation. These last pass into another status, and stop them, or prevent their passage, it’s the same thing that can stop a warship, it is almost a Declaration of war. But most, I repeat, is still in the status of an ordinary civil courts, and some under so-called flags of convenience, which means the absence of the state, which for them stands up. Even if the flag of the Russian Federation, it still will not prevent Turkey to stop such a conventional cargo ship under one pretext or another. This happens right and left worldwide, most often in connection with suspected smuggling. But you can stop under a different pretext, absolutely justified when talking about the Turkish Straits generally, and especially the Bosphorus. It concerns the safety of navigation in the Straits, it had long been in question, and not only in Turkey. The Straits are overloaded, from time to time there occur very serious marine accidents that threaten the safety of citizens of Turkey and its ecology, as well as Istanbul. Constantly move forward and there are projects for the discharge of spills, particularly from tankers, as particularly dangerous.
And here are the following – the Straits continuous succession of cargo ships go by «the left» flags questionable companies providing military operation of the Russian Federation in Syria. This line has become known as the «Syrian Express». It is clear that on Board the ships are not Christmas toys, and, most hazardous military cargoes. The question is, will Turkey in his own right, if it will stop such vessel to inspect its cargo, will find the ammunition and will make claims that the ammunition is transported with safety violations? Answer – be. And the Montreux Convention down here».
«Some experts say that Russia will transfer all vessels involved in the «Syrian Express», under «convenient» flags, and thus, make them «invisible». Rare nonsense. In that case, calculate such ships isn’t hard at all, and most likely, they are in Turkey it’s all under control, and accounting,» adds Voitenko.
Further, the expert reports that it conducted a «small study of the Syrian Express», without any problems by calculating such vessels. The commentary makes reference to this study.
«To calculate them easily enough for Turkey, because half or more of these vessels was taken in the Charter or have already bought from Turkish companies. Such old, cheap pelvis, says M. Voitenko. – It is a very limited number of ships, hardly more than 20. To arrange a merry life is very simple. It will not cover completely all the logistics, but – most of it, that will kill the Syrian adventure rather than missiles, bombs, submarines and aircraft carriers «our partners»».
«In the case of transition of the conflict into a «hot» phase, Turkey could block the Strait for shipping, bound for the Straits. That is, to fully close one of the two main trade arteries of Russia. Yes, the price of oil finally will increase dramatically, thereby seemingly the main goal of the Syrian sacred operations will be achieved. But at what cost? The interruption of the artery of the black sea the Russian economy will not save $ 300 per barrel. However, full closure of the Straits to Russian goods also has its variations, this is a topic for another conversation,» – said in comments.
«Turkey appears to be gently tried to explain Russia who’s boss. I mean reports of prolonged downtime of some Russian ships waiting for permission to pass the Bosphorus. Please note that the Montreux Convention is not violated. Is the Center of control of ship traffic in the Bosphorus. Without his permission no one ship will not go in Strait. How he carries it. Actually he is guided by the safety of navigation, but maybe he has other things on his mind, but go and prove. He did not give the nod to the Russian courts for some time. Then he gave. The hint is clear?.. If Russia believed that Russian courts biased, let’s get the facts and go with those facts to the court or the UN. The facts have to collect for a long time. During this time the Syrian campaign of the Russian Federation, without proper logistics, just to cover yourself, as construction without supply,» summarizes Voitenko.