The presence of the Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros off the southeastern coast of Cyprus is a “blatant violation” of the European Union member-state’s sovereign rights, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Thursday.
Dendias was speaking on Antenna television hours after the Barbaros was spotted off the coast of Famagusta on Thursday morning.
The move comes just as a thaw in relations between Greece and Turkey was signaled after a spokesperson for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this week that Ankara would suspend planned hydrocarbon surveys off the coast of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.
Athens and Ankara, said Dendias, “are in a phase of discussions and contacts, but no formal dialogue has started as yet.”
"We have said that we want a dialogue with Turkey, but not on everything under the sun. Our differences are the continental shelf in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean and the overlying sea zones," he said.
“If these contacts succeed, we will proceed with a relaunch of negotiations,” Dendias said, but added that Greece will not engage in dialogue while being “blackmailed.”