Turkey playing spoiler on East Med gas development, said to have deployed ship to block Eni-chartered vessel from entering Cypriot EEZ
Turkey is flexing its muscles to intimidate East Med gas development: In an escalation of Turkey’s bid to disrupt gas development in Cyprus’ Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ), which it deems illegal, the Turkish military has blocked since Friday a drill rig contracted by Eni from approaching an area to explore for natural gas, the Cypriot Government said on Sunday. “From our side, our actions reflect the necessity of avoiding anything which could escalate [the situation], without of course overlooking the violation of international law perpetrated by Turkey,” Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades told journalists in Nicosia. Anastasiades added that Cyprus was taking the “necessary” steps over the matter, Reuters reports. Turkey had intensified its objections to the EEZ (signed between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece) over the past week, with its Foreign Minister announcing that it raised objections with the UN. The move coincided with reports that Eni and Total were on cusp of making a giant gas discovery, with both announcing that they discovered an extensive strain of natural gas southwest of Cyprus.