Why is Russia afraid of building the Istanbul canal project?


A Russian political analyst explained the reasons for his country’s concern about the construction of the “Istanbul Water Canal” by Turkey, and said:

“Moscow is concerned that the construction of this canal will lead to Ankara’s withdrawal from the International Montreux Agreement.”


According to local news agencies, the Montreux Treaty signed on July 20, 1920, regulates maritime traffic in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, as well as the Black Sea.

In an interview with one of the Arab satellite channels, about the reasons for Russia’s concern about the Istanbul water canal, the project through which Turkey plans to build a 45-km water bridge linking the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.

Russian politician Iqbal Dari said that Moscow was concerned that the construction of the Istanbul Canal would theoretically give Ankara the right to withdraw from the International Montreux Treaty.

According to the report, Ankara’s withdrawal from the Montreux Agreement may accelerate the entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, and in this case the Black Sea will become just a sea belonging to NATO, and this is something Moscow will not accept.

At the domestic level in Turkey, political parties opposed to the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan oppose the construction of the Istanbul Canal due to environmental risks and high financial costs.


The Russian politician said, “Historically, the issue of waterways was the cause of long-term clashes between Moscow and Ankara, but with the help of the Montreux Treaty, the two sides have not participated in a military conflict for nearly a hundred years.”

He added, “Moscow is committed to this alliance because it prevented the presence of NATO forces in the Black Sea.”

He added: “Ankara is so far committed to the provisions of the Montreux Agreement, but the withdrawal from this agreement may accelerate the entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.”

In this case, the Black Sea would simply become a sea under NATO, and Moscow would oppose it and find it unacceptable.

He added, “The Russian-Turkish talks on the Istanbul water canal coincided with a sharp disagreement between Russia and Ukraine.”


Ukraine has the support of Turkey, and this situation raised Moscow’s fear.

Last Friday, the Kremlin issued a statement in response to Ankara’s plan to build the Istanbul Water Canal.

Stressing “the need to preserve the existing mechanism for the Black Sea Strait in accordance with the provisions of the Montreux Agreement to ensure regional stability and security.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to start the canal project next summer, despite opposition from domestic opposition and foreign protests.