The Turkish Navy General Staff announced that two ships and one submarine of the Turkish Navy have been sent off the coast of Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean, to monitor the offshore drilling. This is likely to escalate the tension between Turkey and Cyprus after the failing of the negotiations over the Cyprus issue last week. Researches and potential drillings for the French Total and the Italian Eni companies will be conducted by the drilling ship “West Capella” that set sail heading off the coast of Cyprus on Thursday, to start searching for natural gas reserves.

Ankara stressed that it will take measures against Cyprus if the latter starts exploiting deepwater natural gas and oil reserves around the island. On his part, Greek Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis stated that the Greek Cypriot government “is keeping a low profile and implements its projects on hydrocarbons within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone”.