NICOSIA, Cyprus — The European Union should not shed imposing tougher sanctions for Turkey to give a “criminal” hydrocarbons hunt from the eastern Mediterranean which has ratcheted up tensions president of Cyprus stated Wednesday.
President Nicos Anastasiades said the EU should consider with”all means at our disposal” while reacting to Turkey to prevent putting”a double standard” in the way the 27-member bloc chooses to take care of improper action inside and outside its boundaries.
“Provided that unlawful activities have been removed from European Union member countries, the European Union’s response has to be instant,” Anastasiades said after discussions with European Council President Charles Michel at Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.
A Greek-Turkish naval standoff started a month when Turkish drill and research boats started hunting for energy reserves in oceans where Greece and ethnically divided Cyprus assert exclusive rights.
Turkey, which does not recognize Cyprus as a country, states it has every right to prospect for oil and gasoline in these waters and will not accept being”hemmed in” by Greek and Cypriot maintains.
He explained the EU’s previous calls for solidarity with Cyprus must be supported up” with actions and words.”
“I believe we have to be quite firm when it comes to protecting the interests of member nations, such as the interests of Cyprus,” Michel said.
Michel’s trip to Cyprus following a halt in Greece arrived as EU leaders prepare to discuss a plan of action for de-escalating the tensions with Turkey.
On Tuesday, Turkey expanded its hunt for oil and gas within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone via mid-October. Turkish drilling boat Yavuz is working southwest of Cyprus.
“Respect for the sovereignty of EU member states must stay the principle that nobody can dismiss or dismiss,” Anastasiades said.