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EU leaders agree sanctions on Turkey over Cyprus drilling

EU leaders agree sanctions on Turkey over Cyprus drilling

Mubasher: The European Union (EU) foreign ministers agreed on Monday to slap economic sanctions against Turkey, according to Reuters.

The decision came over Turkey’s violation of Cyprus’ maritime economic zone by drilling off the coast of the island, EU ministers.

The EU “will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorized drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” a statement by the ministers was quoted by Reuters.

The legal framework for travel bans and asset freezes was established, but names are yet to be added.

If sanctions are implemented, the asset freezes and travel bans are likely to hit the Turkish military and captains of ships carrying out “illegal” drilling, the diplomats said.

Those sanctions followed a separate decision to suspend new arms sales to Ankara over the Turkish incursion into Syria.

EU ties with Turkey, a formal candidate to join the bloc, have deteriorated, after years of stalemate.

Many EU states said that Turkey no longer fulfils the democratic standards to be a candidate, with President Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping and unchecked new presidential powers.