The need for the EU to act in such a way as to send a clear message to Turkey that its behaviour is unacceptable was emphasised on Friday by President Nicos Anastasiades during his intervention at the Informal European Council in Prague.

In a statement to the media, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos, who accompanied Anastasiades to Prague, said that during the informal council “the leaders of the 27 EU Member States held discussions on the continuation of financial, military and other assistance to Ukraine.

They also discussed how to secure the EU’s energy supply for the coming winter in the most cost-effective way to alleviate the problem of increased energy prices for households and businesses.

Anastasiades presented Cyprus’ proposals and positions on the issues discussed and underlined the role that the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus can play in the implementation of the European objective of decoupling from Russian energy.

“In this regard, Anastasiades also referred to the ongoing and increasing Turkish challenges, which are also an obstacle to the implementation of the European objectives for decoupling from Russian energy and, of course, he also referred to Turkey’s continued attitude in undermining the sanctions applied by the EU,” Pelekanos said.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Euronews, Anastasiades expressed his disappointment at the EU’s tactics of double standards regarding Turkey.

Speaking to Euronews in the Czech Republic, Anastasiades said “it is this tolerance that creates the risks of a new conflict within Europe”.

He stressed that “it is not possible to say that Russia violates international law, but when international law is violated by a candidate country against members of the European Union, to pretend that we do not understand its importance”.

“We cannot say that today we are making sacrifices to help Ukraine- and we are rightly doing so – to cope with the illegal invasion and at the same time to consider firstly what are the interests in relation to Turkey, what is the exposure of the various European banks, member countries, to the Turkish banks, what will be the consequences for the countries either in terms of exports etc in Turkey and at the same time to talk about solidarity, which is unfortunately limited to words,” he stressed.