Russia is following the developments in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus with concern, a press release issued on Monday by the country’s Foreign Ministry has said.
“In connection with incoming reports on the visit of yet another Turkish ship to conduct geological prospecting in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, we are watching with concern the developments in this area. We believe that any violation of Cyprus’s sovereignty can only hinder conditions for a durable, viable and fair resolution of the Cyprus issue,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
It went on to add that “we urge all countries to refrain from steps leading to the buildup of a crisis potential in the Eastern Mediterranean, to display restraint and political wisdom, and to strive to resolve any dispute through dialogue and respect for each other’s interests.”
“There is an obvious need to relaunch the intercommunal negotiating process on a settlement in Cyprus as soon as possible with a view to finding solutions based on relevant UN resolutions. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we are ready to support such efforts,” the press release concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.
Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.
A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast on Monday. Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez was quoted by state-owned Anadolu news agency on Saturday as saying the Yavuz drillship would start drilling within a week.
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has strongly condemned Turkey’s new attempt to illegally conduct drilling operations in the east of Cyprus, close to the Karpasia peninsula, within the Territorial Sea of the Republic.
(Cyprus News Agency)