Statement on the interception of the Ramform Tethys by Venezuelan Navy

The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana wishes to advise that Esso Exploration & Production, Guyana Limited (Exxon Mobil) reported that a research vessel, the Ramform Tethys, was intercepted by the Venezuelan navy at 10.30 hours on Saturday December 22, 2018.

The vessel, flagged by the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, was contracted to conduct seismic work by Exxon Mobil and had a total of seventy crew members on board including the Captain.

It was intercepted in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at a position of N 09 deg 17.19 min / W 058 deg 16.20 min at an approximate distance of 140 Km from the nearest point to the provisional equidistant line with Venezuela.

The Government of Guyana rejects this illegal, aggressive and hostile act perpetrated by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which once again demonstrates the real threat to Guyana’s economic development by its western neighbor; an act that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be bringing this latest act of illegality and blatant disrespect for Guyana’s sovereignty by Venezuela to the attention of the United Nations.

It is also in the process of informing the several Governments of the seventy crew members of the threat to their safety.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will also receive formal communication from the Government of Guyana on this matter.

Public Diplomacy

December 22, 2018

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