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    DIALOGUE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND TURKEY ON BLACK SEA STRAITS BECOMES CONSTRUCTIVE, LAVROV SAYS

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    MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian-Turkish dialogue on the questions of navigation in the Black Sea straits has begun to acquire a constructive character of late. This point of view was voiced by Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in the article published in Vnesheekonomicheskiye Svyazi (Foreign Economic Relations) journal.

    In his opinion, this found reflection in the Joint Declaration on the Deepening of Friendship and Many-Sided Partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey signed by the two countries' presidents on December 6, 2004.

    "We understand the Turkish side's concern over the consequences of a hypothetical accident of a craft carrying hundreds of thousands of tons of dangerous cargoes in Bosporus on the shores of which Instanbul with its multimillion-strong population is situated. Precisely for this reason we offer Turkey cooperation in mapping out and taking measures to regulate shipping in the straits," Lavrov said.

    As the Minister stressed, it is also "important that such measures would not contradict the principle of freedom of shipping through the Black Sea straits, laid down in the Montreux Convention of 1936."

    Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs said Russia's stand on the problem of the Black Sea straits is based on the logic of maintaining balance between the freedom of navigation, on the one hand, and its security and protection of the marine environment, on the other."

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