Albania objects to plans for hydrocarbons research

The Albanian Foreign Ministry on Friday handed a warning regarding Greece’s plans to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Ionian Sea to the country’s ambassador in Tirana, Leonidas Rokanas.

The Albanian government’s note verbale claims that the area covered by the research includes parts of the neighboring country’s continental shelf. Athens denies this is the case.

Tirana’s action led to Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias canceling a meeting scheduled to take place with Albanian Ambassador Dashnor Dervishi on Friday.

Friday’s diplomatic move is the latest in an ongoing dispute between Athens and Tirana regarding exploration rights. The two countries signed an agreement in 2009 creating an exclusive economic zone but also settling maritime borders and delineating the continental shelf. However, Albania’s Constitutional Court annulled the deal following action by then opposition leader and current Prime Minister Edi Rama.

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