President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement that the foundation of the Istanbul Canal will be laid in June has also echoed in Russia. In a news analysis published in Nezavisimaya, one of the leading daily newspapers, the opinion that “Our experts believe that the new channel may pose additional risks for Russia” was emphasized.
In the article, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Aleksey Yerhov's statement at the end of 2019 “The presence or absence of an additional waterway between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea in the form of the Istanbul Canal will not change the international legal regime of the Montreux Convention” was reminded, and “Since then, the Russian Federation has While no official statement has been made about the construction of the canal, the Kremlin sözcüThey stated that it is necessary to wait for Turkey's plans to become clearer," the statement said.
Speaking to the newspaper, Amur Hajiyev, an academician from the Near and Middle East Research Center of the Institute of Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, made the following assessment by saying, "This project has three aspects: political, military and economic."
“The NATO countries, especially the USA and the UK, are undoubtedly interested in the emergence of an alternative for the passage of warships to the Black Sea, which is not covered by the Montreux Convention, and this is disturbing for the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the new channel for Turkey means an additional trump card in the negotiations with Russia. As for the economy, Russia is one of the main countries for the shipment of goods through the Turkish Straits and deals with the restriction of the passage of tankers through the Bosphorus. Under normal circumstances, there is no economic reason to use the new canal, but according to some analyzes from the Turkish side, our oil tankers and other cargo ships may be an excuse to declare a future crossing through the center of a metropolis with millions of inhabitants as a security threat and to limit crossings. Thus, it may be possible to attract customers (to the new channel). Because if there are restrictions, they will have to use the new transportation route.”
The Russian expert also added that after the accident in the Suez Canal, new transportation corridors stretching from Asia to Europe gained importance, at this point, Russia and Turkey are important transit points and they need each other to reach their goals.