What has happened?

The Council of the EU has agreed a set sanctions against Turkey over its "illegal drilling" off the coast of Cyprus.

What does this mean?

The sanctions will consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, as well as an asset freeze for entities.

However, to date, no targets have been designated.

EU persons and entities will also be forbidden from making funds available to those listed.

The restrictive measures make it possible to place sanctions on:

  1. persons or entities responsible for drilling activities related to hydrocarbon exploration and production not authorised by Cyprus within its territorial sea, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or continental shelf. Such drilling activities include, where the EEZ or continental shelf has not been delimited in accordance with international law, activities which may jeopardise or hamper the reaching of such a delimitation agreement;
  2. ersons or entities providing financial, technical or material support for the drilling activities in question;
  3. persons or entities associated with them.

Turkey first started drilling off the coast of Cyprus two months ago.

In July, the EU said it deplored the fact that, despite its repeated calls to stop its illegal activities, Turkey had continued to drill off the coast of Cyprus. The EU reiterated its calls for these actions to stop.

"The Council reiterated the serious immediate negative impact that such illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations," the Council said.

At the time, the EU decided to stop negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agreed not to hold the Association Council and further meetings of the EU-Turkey high-level dialogues for the time being.

It also endorsed the European Commission’s proposal to reduce the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and asked the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending.

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