Athens Issues NAVTEX from Lesvos to Samos to Limit Refugee, Migrant Passages

Greek authorities recently issued a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX), legally blocking off a large maritime area around the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos in the Eastern Aegean Sea.

The apparent reason for this move is to limit, to the greatest degree possible, any new refugee and migrant arrivals on these islands.

The NAVTEX, which expires on March 12, excludes all vessels from Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency which is currently patrolling Greece’s sea borders with Turkey.

Additionally, all vessels belonging to the Aegean Activity operation of NATO are also excluded, as well as all commercial vessels which carry their necessary legal documents and certificates to pass through the area.