Tension between and risks escalating over the case of Italian energy giant ENI’s in the eastern Mediterranean, which was halted Saturday by a Turkish Navy ship.

Saipem 12000 was on its way to Block 6 to start its activity under a license provided by . It is now staying put while awaiting indications. The Italian foreign ministry is following the case ”at the highest levels” and is in contact with the Italian embassies in and while pursuing ”all possible diplomatic steps to resolve the issue”.

is reassuring. ”We are managing the situation”, stressed yesterday the president of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, adding that the intention is to ”avoid any escalation”. However, he said, ”’s actions are violating international law”. ”The government keeps calm to avoid any crisis and is taking the necessary steps so that the sovereign rights of the Republic of are respected”, added Anastasiades.

The issue however still needs to be solved. Ankara yesterday, through its foreign ministry, once again criticized over hydrocarbon drilling off its coasts calling such activity ”unilateral”. The ministry said it undermines ”inalienable rights on natural resources of Turkish-Cypriots” and the ”stability of the region”. The government of is acting as if it were ”the only owner of the island”, the Turkish ministry said, warning of the possible consequences.

The same source in Ankara also delivered the message to foreign oil companies not to support the activities of ’ government. President Erdogan, after recently travelling to Italy, said he was against ENI’s operations in the ”eastern Mediterranean”, expressing ’s ”concern” to President and Premier .

Source: http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2018/02/12/tension-ankara-nicosia-italy-following-eni-drillship-case_c126868a-34ca-4485-9909-831c3296340a.html