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Russia Rejects Any Steps in Mediterranean That Can Lead to Further Escalation, Lavrov Says

Sputnik News

09:55 GMT 08.09.2020(updated 10:33 GMT 08.09.2020)

Turkey and Greece have recently clashed over a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean after Ankara sent a research vessel to look for energy resources off the coast of Cyprus.

Moscow rejects any steps in the eastern Mediterranean that could lead to further escalation in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides.

"Russia considers any steps that could lead to further escalation of tensions unacceptable," Lavrov told a press conference.

This comes after last week Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece of lying after the latter said it had never agreed to have technical talks on the Eastern Mediterranean with Turkey hosted by NATO. Cavusoglu said that Athens initially agreed to discuss measures that could help the two countries avoid incidents in the disputed waters but changed its position later.

Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance was ready to mediate talks between the two countries, Greece said that it would take part only after Turkey withdraws its ships from the disputed waters.

Turkey views the waters off the Cypriot coast as its exclusive economic zone where it wants to search for oil and gas. Greece does not recognize Turkey's claims, with both countries having recently mobilised their armies thereby increasing the risk of a military confrontation in the region.

© Sputnik

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