EU may freeze customs union talks with Turkey over drilling: Bloomberg

The European Union is set to threaten Turkey with retaliation over its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, reports Bloomberg
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 11:03

The European Union gives signals of deterioriating relations with Turkey over Turkey's insistence on continuing drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. As reported by Bloomberg, EU governments will vow to freeze negotiations over the modernization of the customs union between the bloc and Turkey.

According to the sources, the EU “stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” if drilling activity continues.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also made a statement on Sunday that he would demand EU sanctions against Turkey over drilling activities.

Turkey and Cyprus are in conflict over offshore gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, as Turkey continues drilling activities in the region.

Last week, US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer, told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), that Turkey should stop its announced intentions to begin drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following the warning, Southern Cyprus issued international arrest warrants for 25 people in total, including the personnel of Turkey's ship engaging in drilling in the eastern Mediterranean and the company officials cooperating with Turkey's Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).