Turkey’s activities within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are tantamount to an attack on the Republic of Cyprus, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said, the Kathimerini daily reported.
In comments on Skai Monday, the Cypriot official said that although it could not be confirmed that Turkey has actually commenced drilling for oil and gas within the contours of Cyprus’ EEZ, Ankara’s official announcement “constitutes a further escalation in the blatant violations [that have been experienced].”
“Even without drilling, Turkey’s stance constitutes a violation of international law. [It is] an attack on the Republic of Cyprus,” Prodromou said.
He said that Nicosia had taken all the necessary diplomatic and legal steps to contain Turkey’s actions.
On Sunday Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece and Cyprus would push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is found to have started drilling for gas west of the Mediterranean island.