The Italian-Korean consortium of Eni and Kogas will continue its exploration offshore Cyprus despite the presence of Turkish ships in the region. The East Mediterranean has seen a flurry of activity in the past week as Russian warships began military exercises off the coast of Syria on Monday, Israel and Cyprus took part in a search and rescue operation, while Turkey sent a seismic survey ship, the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa, along with two other support vessels, into Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The Barbaros’ violation of Cyprus’ EEZ led last week to the withdrawal of Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades from talks aimed at finding a solution to the division of the island. But Cyprus’ Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said this week that the government is in constant contact with Eni, which is currently drilling in Block 9, and that there has been no problem with the presence of Turkish ships in the area. (CONTINUED - 317 WORDS)