The 40,000 ton Kiev, regarded in the west as the Soviet Union's first aircraft carrier, has sailed through the Bospherus and is in the Mediterranean.
The 40,000 ton Kiev, regarded in the west as the Soviet Union's first aircraft carrier, has sailed through the Bospherus and is in the Mediterranean. The 1936 Montreux agreement governing naval movements through the Bospherus and the Dardanelles does not allow Soviet aircraft carriers into the Mediterranean, but the Soviet Union gave advance warning to Turkey of the Kiev's passage describing the vessel as "anti submarine cruiser number 860." The Turkish government has issued a statement saying the passage does not violate the agreement.
SYNOPSIS: This British Ministry of defence film shows the Kiev after it had been in the Mediterranean for over a week. Turkey consulted her NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies - Britain, France and Greece before allowing the Kiev through. Britain's Minister of States at the Foreign Office Mr. Roy Hattersley has admitted that there is little doubt the Kiev meets the definition of aircraft carriers in the Montreux convention, but the western powers apparently decided that if they made a stand it could undo much of the good relations established in the Helsinki declaration.
Reuters news agency in Ankara reports diplomatic sources as saying that the Kiev is not operational at present as it has no aircraft on board. But the sources say the Kiev's entry could mean a significant shift in the naval balance of power in the Mediterranean.