Defence Minister Threatens Charges Against Turkey for Naval War Games
Defence Minister Demetris Eliades said he plans to sue Turkey for limiting freedom of navigation at sea, after Ankara announced unauthorised war games in the waters around Cyprus on July 12th and 13th.
The exercises will take place in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in an area where US firm Noble Energy is exploring for natural gas. Turkey's warships will infringe on Block 12, Block 2 and Block 3, 8 and 9 of Cyprus' EEZ, said Eliades. These areas are in international waters and border Israel's own gas fields Leviathan and Tamar. Turkey does not recognise an agreement between Israel and Cyprus which marks out each country's EEZ.
Eliades said that Turkey is responsible for endangering security in the area and that the government is considering its options.
"Turkey is behaving illegally, without seeking permission (from the government). The exercise will be carried out in the south of the island," said Eliades.
The British forces in Cyprus and the Israeli navy will be carrying out naval exercises at the same time - with the government's permission, said Eliades.
Meanwhile, there are reports of six Russian warships on their way to the Eastern Mediterranean towards Syria, travelling from the Baltic and Black Sea fleets, reports Xinhua, citing a defence ministry source
The anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko, the Alexander Otrakovsky, Georgy Pobedonosets and Kondopoga large amphibious assault ships, as well as the Nikolai Chiker and Sergei Osipov support vessel are amongst the vessels heading towards the area.
The naval exercises come amid heightened tensions in the region in the wake of Syria shooting down a Turkish F4 jet. Turkey's relations with another neighboring country - Israel - are also at an all-time low.
Message from CyprusNewsReport.com. We can't do it without YOU. Please support our independence.
To make and read comments, become a full member of your news community, click here.