NEWS

Turkish ships threaten to sink Eni's drill vessel

TAGS: Defense, Diplomacy, Energy

Turkish warships harassed the surveying vessel of oil company Eni and threatened to sink it on Friday in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, with the Italian ship forced to make the necessary maneuvers so as to avoid a collision, according to Skai radio that cited Cypriot news reports.

Four or five ships of the Turkish navy tried to once again obstruct the Saipem 12000 drill ship of Eni, that has over the last couple of weeks been prevented from performing its duty to search for hydrocarbons at Block 3 off Cyprus.

In a last-ditch effort before departing for Morocco, the drill ship attempted to approach the spot where it was supposed to begin its surveying, but the Turkish ships nearly caused a collision, that was averted in the last minute, after issuing clear threats to the Italian vessel that it would be sunk.

Eni’s ship left the spot and started sailing west, setting course for Morocco.

The incident came as European Union leaders gather in Brussels for a summit where both Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are expected to broach the issue of Turkish aggression with their counterparts. 

According to the DHA news agency a similar incident had occurred two weeks ago, when Saipem 12000 made its first efforts to approach the designated surveying spot, but a Turkish vessel set a collision course against it.

The collision was eventually avoided through the maneuvering by the Italian captain after his calls on his Turkish opposite number to change course went to no avail.

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