Sergey Lavrov: Every country has a right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles

Lavrov also expressed ‘serious concern’ over Turkey’s decision to open up the beach front in Varosha, in the occupied sections of Cyprus. ANA-MPA/ANA-MPA/YANNIS KOLESSIDES

When issues concerning the delimitation of maritime zones arise between neighbouring countries, then these should be resolved according to international law, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Athens- Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Monday, ahead of his visit to Athens the same day.

Regarding the delimitation of the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) between Greece and Turkey, in particular, Lavrov noted that Russia has signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 and its stance is based on international laws which this contains, including article 3 which specifies that every state has the sovereign right to extend its territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles.

Referring to Hagia Sophia and its recent conversion into a mosque he said that this is a UNESCO world heritage site belonging to all humanity and has exceptional cultural and historic value, while it is sacred to those of the Orthodox faith in his own country and the whole world, adding that for the Russians it has an exceptional spiritual importance.

Lavrov also expressed ‘serious concern’ over Turkey’s decision to open up the beach front in Varosha, in the occupied sections of Cyprus, and made clear that it is againt a series UN Security Council resolutions. Criticising the decision, the minister sent a message that unilateral actions obstruct efforts to establish a constructive climate and create additional problems to the resumption of negotiations for a final resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Furthermore, Lavrov expressed his gratitude to Greece for its support during the repatriation of Russian citizens during the first wave of the pandemic and referred to Greek-Russian History Year which is to take place in 2021, coinciding with the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution against Ottoman Rule and the foundation of the modern Greek state. He underlined that this will serve as another proof of the close connection of the historic paths of the Russian and Greek people.

On bilateral trade and economic relations he said that both countries have to work hard to restore, at the very least, the volume of trade that existed before the start of the pandemic, adding that he is looking forward to an in-depth discussion on the specific issue during his visit to Greece.

Asked about Turkey’s involvement in the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict, Syria and Libya, he said the Russia and Turkey are working toward a settlement of the conflicts in all these flashpoints, noting that the positions of the two coutnries on the resolution of specific regional confrontations may, for objective reasons, be completely different. Specifically he pointed out that in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh the approaches of Russia and Turkey had their own nuances.

Source: ANA – MPA


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