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Nautical Geo enters Cyprus EEZ

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Research vessel Nautical Geo, under the Maltese flag, has entered block 1 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) despite threats from Turkey.

The Italian operated vessel departed Larnaca to conduct operations south of Limassol.

It will conduct seismic surveys until 23 October in line with the navigational telex (Navtex) issued by the Republic of Cyprus.

It is carrying out research for the ambitious EastMed gas pipeline project, which the EU funds with Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Israel.

The Nautical Geo arrived in the area a day after Turkey again accused Greece and Cyprus of taking “steps that increase tensions,” threatening to intervene in any Nicosia action to drill in the East Med.

In a statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry Tanju Bilgic spoke of an attempt to send research ships to the “Turkish continental shelf.”

Bilgic said that Ankara would respond to the challenges and would not allow the rights it claims to be violated.

He also said that Ankara “will continue to give answers” if Cyprus starts drilling.

Turkey has been accused of harassing the ship during its operations in the region.

The vessel is engaged in survey operations to chart out a potential route for the proposed EastMed pipeline.

This undersea gas line would connect offshore fields in Israeli and Cypriot waters back to Crete and the Greek mainland.