Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean following the latest Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with EU High Representative Josep Borrell on Tuesday.
According to the foreign ministry, Christodoulides discussed these matters in a telephone conversation with Borrell.
On Monday Turkey announced it sent away the Nautical Geo, a research vessel flying the Maltese flag that was carrying out surveys in Cyprus’ EEZ, under the excuse it was violating the Turkish continental shelf.
Turkey’s defence ministry said the Nautical Geo, was sent away by a ship of the Turkish Navy.
The research vessel is now anchored off Larnaca.
Christodoulides told state broadcaster CyBC that the Nautical Geo was carrying out a survey on behalf of an Italian company and was harassed by two Turkish Navy frigates at 21 nautical miles off Cyprus. He also said that these surveys were funded by the EU.
Ankara, he added, has now illegally reserved the area the Nautical Geo was carrying out surveys for military exercises, right next to the area where Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy are holding a joint exercise.
Responding to statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on provocative actions by Greece and Cyprus, Christodoulides said that if Cavusoglu trusts his positions that much, he should respond to Nicosia’s call to Ankara for delimiting the marine zones with the Republic of Cyprus or agree to solving the matter at the International Court of Justice.
The minister also said this was the same research vessel that was harassed by Turkish ships a few weeks ago off Crete.