EU, Russia warn Turkey against east Med drilling

The second drillship Turkey sent to the Eastern Mediterranean reached off the coast of Northern Cyprus’ Karpaz yesterday (July 8), causing reactions from the EU and Russia.

In reaction, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs, released a statement, saying, “Turkey’s declared intention to illegally conduct a new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus is of grave concern.”

Calling Turkey to ” act in a spirit of good neighborliness and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with international law,” Mogherini warned Turkey that the European Council is considering “appropriate measures” against Turkey’s actions.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement today, urging all parties to refrain from escalating tensions.

“In connection with incoming reports on the visit of yet another Turkish ship to conduct geological prospecting in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, we are watching with concern the developments in this area. We believe that any violation of Cyprus’s sovereignty can only hinder conditions for a durable, viable and fair resolution of the Cyprus issue.

We urge all countries to refrain from steps leading to the buildup of a crisis potential in the Eastern Mediterranean, to display restraint and political wisdom, and to strive to resolve any dispute through dialogue and respect for each other’s interests.

There is an obvious need to relaunch the intercommunal negotiating process on a settlement in Cyprus as soon as possible with a view to finding solutions based on relevant UN resolutions. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we are ready to support such efforts.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that Turkey’s drill ships will continue “coordinated exploration and research activities in the Eastern Mediterranean,” speaking reporters ahead of his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He added that he hopes problems will not arise in the future.