EU Extends Sanctions on Turkey
The EU has extended sanctions against Turkey for its drilling operations in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. This is stated in the Official Journal of the EU, which published the relevant regulations, reports TASS.
"Given the continued illegal drilling activity of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, two people will be blacklisted by individuals and legal entities," the text said.
The sanctions were imposed on Vice President and Head of the Geological Exploration Division of Turkish State Oil Company TPAO (Turkish Petroleum) Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and his deputy Ali Coskun Namoglu.
Large reserves of natural gas have been discovered in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. In September, the island government signed an agreement with a French company and an Italian company to develop sectors in the offshore part of Cyprus. However, in early October, Turkey sent its own drilling vessel to the area, accompanied by warships.
Turkey, which does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, disputes the borders of the island's EEZ and states that it will not allow geological exploration and drilling off the coast of the island without the consent of the Turkish Cypriot community.
According to Ankara, Turkish drilling vessels are sent to the gas field on the basis of licenses issued by the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized by no other country in the world except Turkey itself.
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