Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis on Saturday expressed her “absolute satisfaction” with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s response to Turkey’s sabre-rattling ahead of drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), a report in the Cyprus mail said. “The response of the Russian Federation to our representations was immediate and sends a strong message to Turkey and the international community in general,” she said. “We are truly grateful for this steadfast stance of Russia, which has always been and continues to be a shield and support against any threats by Turkey, a shield based on international law and UN resolutions,” added Marcoullis.
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu’s top aide Kudret Ozersay has also warned that the Turkish Cypriots will start taking unilateral steps to exploit resources in the island’s northern third if the Cypriot government goes ahead with plans to explore and extract its natural resources.
According to the Turkish Cypriot press, Ozersay met with Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Harari on Friday, where the two likely discussed Cyprus and Israel’s plans to extract and distribute their natural gas resources.
Saturday’s Phileleftheros reported that the Turkish Navy and Air Force are planning military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean starting from September 15.
Last Wednesday, the US administration said it was aware of Turkey’s position on the issue, adding however, that it strongly supports all countries’ plans to secure energy supplies through better energy diversity.
The Cypriot minister said she will raise the issue before the EU Council of Ministers at their next ad hoc meeting on September 2 and 3.
The Turkish response to scheduled drilling will also be discussed during a meeting with her Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman in Israel this Wednesday, she added.