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Cyprus Drilling Must Stay Within UN-Law, Russia’s Lavrov Says

Countries in dispute over oil and gas exploration offshore Cyprus should comply with a United Nations convention on the Law of the Sea, said Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

“We hope and encourage all parties involved to refrain from any steps that could worsen the situation and encourage everyone to remain within the legal framework of the Law of the Sea,” Lavrov said after a meeting with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias in New York today according to a statement on the Nicosia based Press and Information Office.

U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc., that has an explortion and exploitation license for Block 12 in Cyprus’s offshore territory, started to drill for hydrocarbons Sept. 18, according to the director of the Cypriot energy service, Solon Kassinis. Turkey, which unlike Cyprus has neither signed nor ratified the UN law, disputes Cyprus’s right to explore for hydrocarbons and sent warships to the area.

The east Mediterranean island’s ministry of defense is monitoring naval and air force maneuvers, which Turkey started yesterday about 25 nautical miles south of Cyprus, spokeswoman Aliki Stylianou said by phone today.

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