President Nicos Anastasiades said that the EU was at a critical crossroad regarding its relations with Turkey.
In an interview with the Greek newspaper “Ta Nea”, he said the EU would damage its own credibility if it succumbed to Turkey’s blackmail.
Anastasiades said the escalation of Turkey’s illegal behaviour – not only in Cyprus, but also in the Aegean, Syria and Libya– createed rising concern among European officials. Commenting on the targeted measures that the EU adopted against Ankara, Anastasiades said the “the continuing illegal Turkish actions within the Cypriot EEZ have forced us to react using political means, with the main pillar being the adoption of a series of measures against Turkey by the EU”.
“We understand and respect the fact that some of our partners have special relations with Turkey. However, all the EU member states have responded in a united principled way as regards Turkish provocativeness against Cyprus”, Anastasiades said. In the same context, he underlined that Cyprus’ foreign policy was based on reinforcing and deepening its relations and alliances with other states, both at bilateral and multilateral level.
Anastasiades said that the companies licensed to operate in Cyprus’ EEZ had postponed their research activities until 2021, due to the negative impact of the pandemic on the energy field. “It is especially important for us that these companies kept in their budget for 2021 the drilling activities in Cyprus’ EEZ. This demonstrates their willingness to continue their drilling programmes”, Anastasiades said.