Turkey: EU sanctions over gas drilling 'worthless'

Turkey: EU sanctions over gas drilling 'worthless'

"Provocation of Turkey is unacceptable for all of us", German Minister of European Affairs Michael Roth said adding that the EU stands in the side of Cyprus.

Akinci reissued the proposal just prior to the European Union's decision to issue sanctions against Turkey for illegal gas drilling in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights.

The EU will halt high-level dialogue with Turkey, suspend talks over an aviation agreement and cut 145.8 million euros ($164 million) in pre-accession financial funds allocated for 2020.

It also said that "it remains seized of the matter" and that the bloc's top diplomat and the EU Commission will "continue to work on options for targeted measures".


Turkey, which recently dispatched a second drilling ship off Cyprus, said a July 13 proposal by the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state for cooperation and an equal sharing of the energy resources should be seen as an "important opportunity" for a solution.

Cyprus says Turkey's drilling operations are contrary to worldwide law and that decisions on hydrocarbons are its sovereign right. The EU wants to keep some lines of communication open in areas such as migration and terrorism.

Drilling started in 2018, and the partners announced a major discovery in March 2019, with preliminary findings suggesting approximately 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

He made the comment at a news conference, broadcast by CNN Turk, in the North Macedonian capital Skopje.


According to the Anadolu agency, Cavusoglu said that European Union sanctions should not be taken seriously, because those methods can not be used against this nation.

However, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said his country will increase drilling operations in the area and send a fourth ship to the eastern Mediterranean.

"The legitimate rights of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus over the energy resources of the Eastern Mediterranean are not debatable", said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Let them understand that they can not deal with Turkey with such methods", he added.

"If Turkey understands the Republic of Cyprus and the EU's stance as an escalation, then it can be expected that Turkey may also choose to escalate the situation", Harry Tzimitras, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo Cyprus Centre, told Al-Monitor.


While negotiations to reunify the island have not restarted, Cyprus has moved to start gas and oil exploration by issuing licences.

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