Russia backs Greek territorial water extension but cautions on overlapping interests


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated his country’s position that Greece has a right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, adding however that in cases of overlapping interests, the two sides have to find a solution through dialogue.

“It follows from the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea that each state has the right to determine the extent of its territorial waters up to 12 miles. When Greece announced that it was expanding the coastal zone, we said exactly this: it is a completely legal decision,” Lavrov was quoted as saying in translated comments from Russian news agency TASS during a press conference on Monday.

“It is different when the territorial waters defined by a state are against the interests of a neighboring state," he continued. “If these interests are legitimate under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, solutions must be sought through dialogue and balance of interests,” he added, and called for dialogue with Turkey to resolve issues pertaining to Greece's and Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.