Greece Vows It Will Not Be Blackmailed as Turkey Extends East Med Exploration



Credit: Hellenic National Defense General Staff

Greece accused Turkey on Tuesday of being a troublemaker, escalating provocations in the eastern Mediterranean, following Ankara’s decision to extended its energy exploration through its ship the Oruc Reis until September 12.

“Turkey continues to faithfully fulfill the role of troublemaker and destabilising factor in the region,” the Greek Foreign Ministry charged in a statement early on Tuesday.

“It continues to ignore calls for dialogue and to escalate its provocations. It continues to mire itself in the impasses of its own choices and to undermine security and stability in the region, compelling the international community to take measures,” it added.

The Foreign Ministry underscored that Greece will not be blackmailed.

“Based exclusively on International Law, the Law of the Sea and the rules of good neighborly relations, Greece will continue to pursue agreements for the delimitation of its maritime zones with all the countries of the region,” the statement declared.

“We call on Turkey to desist from its daily ranting and to work for security and stability in the region,” it concluded.

Late on Monday, Turkey issued a Navtex (navigational alert) announcing an extension of the Oruc Reis’s oil and gas research activities to September 12.

A Navtex is a maritime communications warning system which allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.

Hours later, Greece issued its own Navtex from its Heraklion station on the island of Crete.

Earlier on Monday, the EU called for dialogue and an end to the continued acts of aggression by Greece’s neighbor.

If Turkey does not heed the warning, European Union officials have said that sanctions will be put into place.