Following Turkey’s announcement that the Oruc Reis oil exploration vessel will be once again deployed in a contentious part of the eastern Mediterranean, Greece has responded by calling the move a serious exclamation of the ongoing dispute.

On Monday the Greek foreign ministry said: “We call on Turkey to recall its decision.” The ministry added that Turkey’s move was a major escalation and a direct threat to peace and security in the region.

For its part, Turkey claimed that it was acting well within international law. “It is unacceptable for there to be opposition against our country, which has the longest coastline to the Eastern Mediterranean, operating 15 kilometres from its mainland.”

After talks took place on the sidelines of a security forum in Bratislava last week, Greece called Turkey an unreliable partner.

In recent days Turkey has been supporting the Azerbaijani side in the flare-up between Azerbaijani and Armenia, which is claiming territory in Nagorno-Karabakh that has been under the control of Armenia since shortly after the end of the Soviet era.

Turkey continues to deny the genocide of 1.5 ethnic Armenians that began 106 years ago, and it is a criminal offence in Turkey to acknowledge the mass killings.