Greece Considers Turkey's Threats 'Unacceptable, Provocative', Reports Say
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Greece will continue to exercise its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean despite Turkey's "unacceptable and provocative" threats, directed against the country and Cyprus, the Kathimerini newspaper reported on Friday, citing a Greek diplomatic source.
"It is an oxymoron, to say the least, that a country which threatens to declare war on Greece if our country exercises its legal rights, which on an almost daily basis violates the sovereignty and sovereign rights [of Greece] and of the Cyprus Republic, and which utters unacceptable and provocative statements and threats, at the same time accuses us of destabilizing the Eastern Mediterranean," the source was quoted as saying.
Rejecting the Turkish government's accusation as "baseless," the source said that Greece will "continue to act with the exclusive purpose of defending its national interests and of promoting security and stability in the wider region, guided by respect for international law and, in particular, the International Law of the Sea."
Both countries want to search for gas in waters that each considers part of its own territory.
Turkey stated that Cyprus' gas drilling in the Mediterranean violates international law, unless the interests of Turkish Cypriots are taken into consideration, and has threatened to protect its interests by force. It has so far refused to recognize the maritime border agreements between Cyprus and a number of countries including Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel, concluded between 2003 and 2010.
On Thursday, Turkey vowed to interfere if Cyprus commences any offshore seismic exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, accusing Nicosia and Athens of fanning tensions in the region.
Since 2019, Turkey sent several drilling vessels to the Eastern Mediterranean off the Cypriot coast, causing indignation in Cyprus and Greece, as well as other EU member states.
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