The European Union decided on Monday to symbolically punish Turkey over illegal drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus and threatened harsher sanctions in the future unless Ankara changes tack.
Foreign affairs ministers of the 28-nation bloc met in Brussels to endorse a decision to curb diplomatic contacts and funding for Ankara, retaliation for what it sees as interference with Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has pressed for a tough line threatening harsher sanctions in the future but others warned against antagonising a key ally on security and migration affairs.
“The provocations of Turkey are unacceptable to all of us,” German Minister of State for Europe Michel Roth said on arriving at the talks. “We have now found a balanced language that keeps all our options open, including of course sanctions.”
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