On Tuesday, the Turkish Navy extended its previous NAVTEX continuing military activity, which would expire on Thursday, until the 10th of March, effectively blocking the passage of the rig Saipem 1200, owed by Italian company ENI from entering “Block 3” which lies between Cyprus and Egypt.
The NAVTEX is preventing the rig from reaching its final destination in order to begin exploration, for which it has been licensed by Nicosia.
The Cypriot government has denounced many times the presence of the Turkish Navy in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as a violation of the international law, a fact which has been contested by Ankara, which does not recognize the exclusive sovereignty of Cyprus and insists on the right of the Turkish-Cypriot community to divide the island’s natural resources.
Government sources have mentioned that the rig cannot stay much longer waiting because it has other planned activities in the region, off the coast of Morocco, in the month of March.
Cyprus is expected to lodge a protest with the United Nations over the issue.