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Ukraine war

Why can Turkey block the Bosporus? 5 things to know

1936 Montreux Convention and geography give it leverage over Russia

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney transits the Bosporus Strait in August 2018. Warships of outside countries like the U.S. cannot stay more than 21 days in the Black Sea. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

TOKYO/ISTANBUL -- "Everyone has a plan until the Bosporus is closed." So wrote a netizen on Reddit when Turkey announced last week that it would block the strategic straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Collectively known as the Turkish Straits, the waterway is the sole maritime connection between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Since Russia's warm-water ports are gathered in the Black Sea, the Bosporus is a bottleneck that could limit the activities of the Russian navy.

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