Greece territorial waters will be extended further in the Ionian Sea the Greek authorities announced on Sunday with the publication of the presidential decree on the closing of bays and drawing of straight baselines in the western maritime area.
The decree affects the maritime area of the Ionian and the Ionian islands up to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the decree was issued pursuant to the law ratifying the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It adds that it is “a necessary step in the process for extending the country’s territorial waters in the above-mentioned area, an action which is, on the basis of the Convention, our country’s inalienable right.”
The decree, according to the Foreign Ministry, “highlights that Greece reserves the right – as deriving from the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which reflects international customary law – to exercise its respective rights in other areas of its territory.”
“Greece is growing:” territorial waters extended
Plans to extend the western limit of Greece’s territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 miles were announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in August.
“Greece is growing,” he said and added that a bill will be tabled at parliament which would specify that the country’s territorial waters from the northernmost Ionian islands to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese will be extended to 12 nautical miles.
Mitsotakis had stressed that the extension of Greek sovereignty westwards is “our undisputed sovereign right, in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
In June 2020, Greece signed an agreement with Italy regarding the delimitation of maritime zones between the two countries.