Cyprus Mail

EU FMs set to adopt measures against illegal Turkish drilling

Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz

EU Foreign Ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday where they are expected to adopt a regulation on restrictive measures in relation to illegal Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The EU has already decided to impose measures against natural and legal people related to, benefiting from, carrying out or supporting illegal Turkish drilling within the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The decision of the 28 Member States was adopted unanimously during a meeting of Foreign Ministers on October 14, and was ratified at the highest political level by the European Council Summit of October 17.

The October 14th decision came in the wake of warnings and a previous package of measures against Turkey on the same issue, which was decided again in June at the level of leaders and ministers respectively.

Ministers had on October 14 instructed a relevant committee of the Council to draw up and present the relevant EU Regulation on sanctions against people and companies, and then the addressees of the sanctions would have to be named.

A recent report in Der Spiegel said that EU member states are expected to propose measures against Ankara, which will require subsequent approval. Diplomats expect that the government of Cyprus will soon submit relevant proposals for measures, Spiegel wrote.

On October 14, the Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus in light of Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Furthermore, the Council recalled its conclusions of July 15, 2019, noting among others that the delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.

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