EU Approves Sanctions Against Turkey Due To Drilling Off Cyprus Coast
Leaders of the EU member states approved the decision of the EU Council on imposing sanctions against Turkey due to its drilling operations in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Cyprus. Since May, Ankara has been engaged in geological exploration in the Mediterranean Sea, which caused discontent among European countries. In July, the EU decided to reduce Turkey’s financial support and suspended negotiations on an air service agreement.
On October 14, the EU Council agreed to impose sanctions against Turkey. All individuals and legal entities responsible for illegal hydrocarbon production in the Eastern Mediterranean are subject to restrictions.
“The EU approves the Council’s decision in connection with Turkey’s illegal drilling activity in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and reaffirms its solidarity with Cyprus,” the statement issued at the end of the EU summit reads.
Recall that Brussels was dissatisfied with the development of the Aphrodite oil field off the coast of Cyprus. Turkey explains its actions with the agreement concluded in 2011 between the national oil company Turkiye Petrolleri and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). But the EU does not like such an explanation, because the sovereignty of the TRNC is recognized only by Ankara itself. Turkey, however, promised to continue drilling in the Cyprus EEZ.