Posting from its official Twitter account, the Russian Embassy in Athens reiterated its firm support for the United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (1982), noting the sovereign right of states to territorial waters of up to 12 nautical miles.
After emphasizing the importance of UNCLOS, the Russian Embassy in Athens said that this “also applies to the Mediterranean.”
“Russia’s position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is the starting point. We consider the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea the ‘cornerstone’ of international maritime agreements,” the Russian Embassy said in the first tweet.
In a follow up tweet, the Russian Embassy said:
“The Convention explicitly provides for the sovereign right of all States to have territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles and sets out the principles and methods for delimiting the [Exclusive Economic Zone]. This also applies to the Mediterranean.”
The statement by the Russian Embassy in Athens is vastly different to that it adopted on September 5 by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who also emphasized the importance of UNCLOS but then urged states to be “guided by common sense and take into consideration the geographical peculiarities of a region.”
This is a common argument made by Turkey as they stress the Aegean will become a “Greek lake” if it enacts its right to expand its territorial waters from six nautical miles to 12.
Turkey has said that if Greece enacts its rights as stipulated by international law, this would be a cause for war.
Although Russia initially took the position of sympathizing with Turkish claims, it is likely the position has drastically changed after Turkey sent Syrian mercenary jihadists to Russia’s doorstep in the Caucasus and launching a war against Armenia.