The Council of the European Union prepared on 14 October to move ahead with sanctions targeting Turkey in response to its gas drilling activities off the shore of Cyprus, which the bloc considers illegal.

“In light of Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, the Council reaffirms its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law. It recalls its conclusions of 15 July 2019 in all its parts, and notably that delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.”, the Council stated.

EU’s foreign ministers invited the Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to “swiftly present” proposals for restrictive measures targeting individuals involved in the drilling activities. The sanctions could include EU travel bans and asset freezes.