EU Foreign Ministers Will OK Turkish Sanctions Over Cyprus Drilling

Αssociated Press

In this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 photo, a helicopter flies over Turkey's drilling ship, 'Fatih' dispatched towards the eastern Mediterranean, near Cyprus. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP, Pool)

NICOSIA- Without discussion, European Union foreign chiefs on Nov. 11 are set to approve unspecified penalties against Turkey for drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus, which has scared off French and Italian companies who were also hunting there for energy.

The EU earlier adopted soft sanctions against Turkey that were ignored and have done nothing to keep that country from continuing to work in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ,) also in defiance of the legitimate Cypriot government and the United States, which backed Cyprus' right to license foreign companies, including the American firm ExxonMobil.

The foreign ministers, said a draft set for approval according to the Cyprus Mail, would okay restrictive measures that could also target Turkish officials although Cypus had earlier issued international arrest warrants against the crews of the Turkish ships but didn't enforce them.

The decision of the 28 member states was taken at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Oct. 14 and then by the heads of state of the bloc's members three days later but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated he doesn't care and is proceeding anyway.