Turkish warships attempted to impede yet another oil and gas drilling effort, unsuccessfully this time, at the point known as Calypso, in Block 6 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The drilling is being conducted by the Italian-French consortium ENI/TOTAL, and this time the drill was accompanied by two frigates, one French and one Italian, according to a report in the Cypriot newspaper Politis.
Despite that, Ankara attempted to measure its forces with the European frigates. A Turkish warship approached the area and entered the drilling security zone, within a radius of 500 metres from the Calypso drilling point.
The reaction of the two frigates accompanying the SAIPEM 12000 was immediate, and the Turkish warship pulled back.
Macron talks with Erdogan
The decisive stance of France, not allow anyone to hinder the legal oil and gas exploration of French company, appears to have made the difference in this last incident.
In a conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 26 February, in which he stressed that the UN cease fire in Syria applies to Turkish operations in Afrin, Macron also called upon Erdogan to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, according to the French Presidency.
As a result, the drilling operation proceeded smoothly, and reportedly initial indications offered cause for optimism.