Greece is set to establish a military presence in the Othonoi island close to Albania for the first time ever, according to Greek newspaper Ta Nea.
The report claims that the Greek government has already launched procedures to establish a military outpost in its small westernmost island inhabited by about 400 people.
It says this has been a request of residents that will be “very soon” implemented. The move will precede the extension of Greek territorial waters in the Ionian sea from 6 to 12 miles, it concludes.
The news comes following a deal between the Albanian and Greek governments to take the issue of their maritime boundaries to the international court in The Hague.
The Greek prime minister announced after the deal that they will first extend the territorial waters and then go to the court.
The Albanian prime minister has repeatedly supported Greece’s right to double its territorial waters.
Albania and Greece signed the Agreement for the Delimitation of the Greek-Albanian Continental Shelf and Maritime Zones in 2009.
However, it was not implemented after the then opposition Socialist Party, headed by the current prime minister, Edi Rama, asked the Constitutional Court to review the deal, and the court nullified it due to violations of the Constitution and territorial integrity.
Greece established a military outpost in summer in Gavdos, its southernmost island, for the first time also, following escalation of tensions with Turkey.