x

Economy

Cyprus Backs EU Sanctions On Belarus – Only if Turkey Included

September 24, 2020

Under fire from other European Union countries for vetoing sanctions against authoritarian Belarus over rigged elections there, Cyprus' beleaguered government said it supports the penalties but that Turkey must be hit too.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides told Euronews that Cyprus first wants sanctions imposed on Turkey over what the European Council refers to as Ankara's "unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean".

"The Republic of Cyprus supports and does not raise the issue of veto or anything else regarding Belarus," said Christodoulides. "There is no way we are against the adoption of measures against the regime in Belarus."

While Cyprus didn't raise the issue of a veto he did just that to block the sanctions on Belarus that anyway would have exempted 26-year President Alexander Lukashenko, who has reacted to protests against his fixed re-election with a brutal crackdown on demonstrators and journalists.

Turkey has been drilling for oil and gas in waters off Cyprus, the northern third of the island being occupied since an unlawful 1974 invasion, Turkey keeping a 35,000-strong army there.

The EU so far has imposed only soft sanctions on Turkish drilling, against two executives of the state-run petroleum company that has done nothing and exempted Turkish President Recep Tayyip, who ordered it.

Turkey, which has been trying to join the EU since 2005, doesn't recognize Cyprus – which is a member – and bars its ships and planes.

Turkey disputes parts of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zοne (EEZ) and has been drilling near where the legitimate government has licensed foreign companies to hunt, including those from France, the United States and Italy.

With unanimous consent required from all 27 members of the EU for foreign policy decisions, most get hung up in disputes, leading European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to recommend a majority instead.

Christodoulides though told the news site that,  "What will play the most important role in decision-making should be the European interest and not the national interest of some states.

"If we do not first determine what the EU's interest is, it will be very difficult for Cyprus and many other member states to agree to such a qualified majority decision making on foreign policy decisions."

That would effectively create a stalemate with unanimous consent required to stop EU unanimous consent. The EU summit to discuss possible sanctions on Belarus and Turkey has been postponed to Oct. 1-2.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Battling a longstanding reputation as a haven for foreigners to hide money and illicit gains, Cyprus is making some inroads in trying to deal with the problem that includes terrorist financing.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.