site.btaDoes Turkey Plan to Quintuple Black Sea Straits Crossing Charges, Transport Minister Asks
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policies and Transport and Communications Minister Hristo Aleksiev has written a letter to Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu in connection with alerts from Bulgarian maritime associations about reports of plans to quintuple the Bosporus and Dardanelles crossing charges, Aleksiev's Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.
In his letter, Aleksiev wrote that an official note on a forthcoming increase of charges has not reached the Bulgarian authorities up to this point. The Transport Minister emphasizes that a proposal for amending the provisions of the Montreux Convention may be initiated by each of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention at the expiry of each period of five years from the date of its entry into force. To be valid, any request for revision must be supported by at least two other High Contracting Parties. Any request for a revision thus supported must be notified to all the High Contracting Parties. This notification must contain details of the proposed amendments and the reasons which have given rise to them.
The Transport Minister states categorically that such circumstances will be significantly detrimental to the Bulgarian maritime sector. Aleksiev asks Karaismailoglu for official information and that the measure in question be not applied until the matter has been clarified.
The Deputy Prime Minister also conferred with Turkey's Ambassador in Sofia Aylin Sekizkok. He argued that quintupling the charges for crossing the Bosporus and the Dardanelles in a situation of an economic crisis caused by the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine will have a dire impact on the economies of the Black Sea countries. The Minister insisted that the taking of such a step be preceded by a discussion among all parties concerned of the effects of this measure whose application should be suspended until then.