World roundup: February 25 2022
This will be mostly about Ukraine again, for obvious reasons
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Tonight’s roundup is unsurprisingly going to focus a lot on events in Ukraine, to the extent that even many the things that aren’t about Ukraine will be about Ukraine. To wit, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Friday poured cold water on a Ukrainian request for Ankara to close the Black Sea to Russian warships. Turkey has some latitude to control passage through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits in time of war, but according to Çavuşoğlu the 1936 Montreux Convention that gives Turkey that latitude also says it cannot block the straits to Russian warships that are returning to port.
The Turks could decide that Russian ships currently outside the straits aren’t actually “returning to port” and therefore they can be denied access, but that’s a very subjective determination that could a) damage Ankara’s relationship with Moscow and b) spark a Russian challenge to Montreux. Neither of those things would be in Turkey’s national interest. Turkish officials are reportedly still studying the issue, but I suspect their final response will echo Çavuşoğlu’s comments.