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Oil & Gas 360 Publishers Note: Based upon Turkey’s actions this was a step that inevitable. Although it will be difficult to see how successful sanctions can be against individuals, rather than countries. Enforcement also seems to be a major issue. This is not the only problem Turkey’s hunger for energy is causing. There are issues with OPEC and the Libya’s increased oil production with the aid from Turkey.

Brussels, 2 October (Argus) — The EU will today formally decide to impose sanctions on Belarusian officials over falsified election results and suppression of pro-democracy activists. It has also put Turkey on notice that it too could face sanctions by the end of the year, if there is no dialogue over its exploration activities in waters disputed with Cyprus and Greece.

EU Warns That Ties With Turkey Are at a ‘Watershed Moment

Journalists walk next to the drilling ship ‘Yavuz’ scheduled to search for oil and gas off Cyprus, at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul. Photographer: Bulent Kilic/Getty Images

The agreement on Belarus was struck between leaders at a late-night European Council meeting. Asset freezes and travel bans will not touch Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko but will instead target those individuals judged responsible for a crackdown on pro-democracy activists. Measures are not expected to target Belarusian firms or economic sectors.

Cyprus had previously said that it would only agree to sanctions against Belarus if strong measures were taken against Turkey over its exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean. Last month EU foreign ministers failed to convince Cyprus to agree restrictive measures against Minsk.

Agreement over sanctioning Belarus involved a “long, difficult discussion”, German chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that the EU wants a “constructive” agenda with Turkey. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the EU now has various tools if Turkey does not pursue de-escalation and a positive agenda. “There’s one [set of tools] for a situation where Turkey again takes unilateral actions and breaches international law. We can trigger them [sanctions] immediately,” she said.

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell has said previously that sanctions against Turkish individuals could be complemented by economic and financial measures targeting firms involved in Turkey’s exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

In written conclusions of the EU Council meeting, leaders strongly condemned violations of Cyprus’ sovereign rights and agreed that delimitation of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone should be addressed through “dialogue and negotiation in good faith” in full respect of international law.

“There’s an agreement to give talks a chance. If talks are not followed [by Turkey], then there’ll be restrictive measures to sanctions foreseen for December,” French president Emmanuel Macron. The EU’s solidarity with Cyprus and Greece is “non-negotiable”, he said.

 


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