President says that EU measures targeting Turkey “take some time”

It takes some time to decide EU measures against Turkey for its actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday.

The Presidenmt was asked to comment on the latest decision of the European Council concerning Turkey, which expressed recently serious concerns over Turkeys current illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and endorsed an invitation to the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to submit options for appropriate measures without delay, including targeted measures. The reference for targeted measures was not included in the draft conclusions adopted by the General Affairs Council prior to the Summit.

In his statements, the President said that the final text of the Council conclusions was differentiated not just because of the Turkish violations, but also due to the stance adopted by Turkey, marking the dispatch of its drill-ship Fatih in the region with triumphant speeches and ceremonies. According to the President, this was the proof that Turkey is not taking into account verbal recommendations.

This was the reason for the change of scenery and the adoption of a decision to take measures against Turkey, he added.

Asked when these measures are going to be adopted, President Anastasiades said that this takes some time because there are established procedures in the EU. He added that it is sad to hear sometimes that no immediate decision for measures was taken at the European Council, adding that this is not the way the EU works.

For Russia it took six months for the measures to be adopted he noted.

According to the President, the European Commission and the EEAS under Federica Mogherini are the competent bodies to suggest measures, which will then be adopted by the European Council.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Last month Turkey issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Fatih is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Yavuz, a second Turkish drill ship is also en route, approaching the region.

Source: Cyprus News Agency