The presidential decree on the closing of bays and drawing of straight baselines in the maritime area of the Ionian and the Ionian islands up to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese entered into force through its publication in the government gazette Sunday.
The move is a necessary step in the process of extending Greece’s western territorial waters.
In a statement Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said the decree was issued pursuant to the law ratifying the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“The Presidential Decree 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,” it said.
“Firmly committed to upholding International Law, including the Law of the Sea, Greece always acts in line with international legality,” it said.
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.
They do not affect the Aegean region, off the country’s eastern and southern coasts.