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Is Turkey Already Obstructing Russian Ships in the Straits?

Originally appeared at Russia Beyond the Headlines

Turkey is creating obstacles for Russian ships without technically violating the right of free passage through the Turkish Straits, the online newspaper Vzglyad reports.

According to an online vessel tracking system, Russian ships moved in zigzags and circles on Nov. 29, waiting for hours for permission to enter the Bosphorus.

For instance, the Bratsk waited for permission from 10.00 to 19.00, and the Volgobalt from 3.00 to 17.00. However, as stated by the Ukrainian Center for Transport Policies, vessels belonging to the other countries passed through the straits without a delay on that day.

The news website reports that the transport ship Yauza was met by a Turkish submarine as it was passing through the Dardanelles on the morning of Nov. 30.

The Istanbul media reported the same day that at least two Turkish submarines were located in the vicinity of the Moskva missile cruiser (covering the Khmeimim Russian airbase in Syria).

"Delays for Russian vessels are resulting in very heavy losses," Mikhail Voitenko, chief editor of the Maritime Bulletin website, told Vzglyad.

"Turkey has just gently hinted to Russia what could happen if Russia continues to escalate the situation."

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