Russia opposes the EU measures imposed on Turkey over its drilling activity inside Cyprus’ economic waters, a senior diplomat was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Izvestia newspaper that Moscow opposes EU sanctions against Turkey, arguing that such steps would only aggravate the long-standing conflict in the region.
EU foreign ministers on Monday suspended negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agreed not to hold the Association Council and further meetings of the EU-Turkey high-level dialogues for the time being due to Ankara’s drilling activities off Cyprus.
It also endorsed a proposal to reduce the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invited the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending.
Grushko said unilateral sanctions are contrary to both international law and UN Security Council procedures. In addition, as a rule, they do not achieve their goals.
“On the contrary, they lead to a radicalisation of positions,” the Russian diplomat said.
He said in unresolved conflicts everyone should refrain from movements that could aggravate the situation, including significantly complicating the political process to resolve it.
Moscow insists that the UN Security Council should deal with the Cyprus problem seriously.
In particular, as the Russian ambassador to the Republic, Stanislav Osadchiy, told Izvestia, the permanent members of the Security Council could be the guarantors of a settlement – namely, Britain, China, Russia, the United States and France.
As for bilateral relations with Cyprus, the Russian Federation has good cooperation with the Republic and Moscow expects that it will remain so, he added.