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Rivalry between Russia and Turkey

 

The Black Sea is an interconnected region between Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Turkey. This connects Europe and Asia and it is important from the perspective of trade.This region is also known as Bread basket of the world because through the Black Sea tons of grains are shipped to countries in Asia and Africa

 

Historically Black sea has been bloody there were many battles fought for this.

 

  1. First was Russo-Turkish War To Crimean War
  2. 2nd  Turkish Strait Crisis
  3. War after annexation of Crimea after 2014

Russo Turkish War over Crimea

Russia Turkey War

From the 17th to 19th century Russia and the Ottoman Empire fought various battles over different issues.

However, one of the many particular reasons for the conflict was to establish dominion over Black Sea.

 

In this episode let’s look at how both parties had tried to exert their dominion over the black sea region.

 

In the first part of the Russo Turkish war, Russia wanted to get the control of black Sea but she was unsuccessful and had to fight several battles, then in the  war of 1695-96 Peter 1 the Great successfully captured Azov Forts.

 

With the treaty of Adrianople, Ottoman had allowed Russians and western commercial ships  to access  the black sea ports.

 

Now France and England sided with Ottoman, so that they could prevent Russia from accessing the Mediterranean Sea with which she can easily come to India.

 

Again six yrs of war from 1768 to 1774 resulted in Treaty of Kuchuk which  gave Russia full access of the Black Sea region

 

After the downfall of both Russian and Ottoman Empire both tried to establish consensus regarding the Black Sea, lastly both agreed on Montreux Convention.

 

Montreux Convention on Black Sea

 

Montreux Convention

 

This allowed Turkey to block all the straits during the war.

Again in 1946 we saw a Turkish Strait Crisis between USSR and Turkey where USSR wanted to access Turkish Straits which as per Montreux convention Turkey can stop anyone from accessing her straits.

As the USSR wanted to change it so she attempted to force it on Turkey in response  Turkey went and asked for American help and became a NATO member.

 

Russia Ukraine Tension over Crimea

 

Russia Ukraine Tension

 

AT this time, Black Sea was not important to the West.

 

When the USSR dissolved and Ukraine became independent, Ukraine had to return all her nukes to Russia under the Budapest Memorandum .

 

However , both the countries have an uneasy relationship when it came to Crimea.

 

Crimea was gifted to Ukraine in 1954 by the USSR premier Nikita Khruschev in 1954.

But now things were changing, Russia had military bases in Sevastopol which help them to control the Russian Black Fleet.

Crimea had always been a topic of nationalism in Russia, Russia by taking Crimean officials to their side, forced Kyiv to sign  Russia Ukraine Friendship Treaty where

Russia had 81 %  and Ukraine had 19%. Of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet.

 

Russia had always believed that all the previous soviet territories was under her influence but that thought was broken when there was a rise of Pro West sentiments in these territories.

 

Like we saw Orange Revolution in Ukraine and Rose revolution in Georgia

 

This Russia believed in NATO encroachments. NATO also recognized the Black Sea as an important element for Euro Atlantic Security in 2008.

However, the West did not pay attention to this region until 2016 after  Crimea was invaded by Russia in 2014.

 

Now with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, security of Black Sea is a big concern, when the war began,the security of Black Sea was a big concern.

 

Russia had blockaded Ukrainian ports, which led to a food crisis and then Turkey and the UN had to step up so that Ukranian grains could pass.

 

The question is why Black Sea is so bloody. The answer lies on the location

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Russo-Turkish-wars

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/why-russia-needs-crimea/article5792952.ece

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/18/crimea-russia-ukraine-war/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/commodities/news/why-the-black-sea-matters-to-commodity-markets/articleshow/89842977.cms?from=mdr

https://www.csis.org/analysis/russias-design-black-sea-extending-buffer-zone

https://www.csis.org/analysis/nato-and-russia-black-sea-new-confrontation

 

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