RIA Novosti quoted Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, as saying that a possible unilateral closure by Turkey of the Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships would be out of line with international law.
"Turkey will not close the strait to Russian vessels en route to Syria because it would be a violation of international law and the Montreux Convention, in particular, — a document that was signed by most counties at the time", he said.
The 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits regulates the passage of civilian and naval ships through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles. According to Article 2, "merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities."
As for naval warships, in times of peace Turkey must permit the passage of small and medium-sized vessels belonging to all nations. The Black Sea powers (formerly including the USSR and now Russia) can navigate warships of any class through the Straits, "on condition that these vessels pass through the Straits singly, escorted by not more than two destroyers."
In times of war, the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish government, according to the document.
Meanwhile, it was reported that French fighter jets will use the Incirlik military base and that the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will receive logistical support in the Turkish port of Mersin.