Greek FM warns Turkey not to send drilling ships into Greek EEZ

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ATHENS, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos warned Turkey on Thursday not to send drilling ships into Greece's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as Greece and Cyprus were pressing for a strong message to Ankara from European Council's summit in Brussels.

"We have our Navy and we have sent everywhere the necessary messages that nobody should even think of entering our waters... No one is so insane and will take the risk to create an incident in the Aegean Sea," Katrougalos told Greek radio station "Thema" (Story), when he was asked how Athens would respond in case Turkish oil and gas drilling ship Yavuz enters the Greek EEZ.

The remarks were made as Turkey hosted a launching ceremony for Yavuz on Thursday with Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez noting that starting from coming days the ship will be operating in the eastern Mediterranean, Greek national news agency AMNA noted.

The rhetoric between Greece and Cyprus Republic on one hand and Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side on the other has escalated in recent weeks, after Turkey sent drillship Fatih off the coasts of Cyprus earlier this summer.

The two sides have argued for years over boundaries, sovereignty and rights over resources in the region.

Cyprus Island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened militarily following a coup by Athens-backed Greek Cypriots.

Meanwhile in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in coordination with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, is expected to raise to the European Council the issue of immediate examination and adoption of measures against Turkey, as long as the neighboring country insists on its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, government sources told AMNA.

"The EEZ of Cyprus is also Europe's EEZ, the borders of Greece are also borders of Europe. We will also not allow drilling inside Greek EEZ. Greece has a deterrence plan. Greece will not step back," Tsipras told Greek Open TV shortly before departing for Brussels. Enditem

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