The EU’s 28 are set to issue a new warning to Turkey today in response to the country’s illegal hydrocarbon exploration activities within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), diplomatic sources have informed.
EU governments are expected to vow to freeze negotiations over the modernization of the customs union between the bloc and Turkey, while reiterating that accession negotiations have come to a standstill.
The EU-28 will also signal that further escalation is possible, as the EU “stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” if drilling activity continues.
The statement, due to be approved by the EU’s European affairs ministers today, is subject to ongoing deliberations between diplomats and the final wording may change.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday that he may demand EU sanctions against Turkey over drilling activities.
Ankara is disputing Nicosia’s EEZ rights as Cyprus prepares to drill at offshore gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey has sent exploration vessels in the area, with Cyprus protesting a violation of its sovereignty.