Bloomberg: EU may freeze customs union talks with Turkey over illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’ EEZ

17 June 2019
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The European Union is set to threaten Turkey with retaliation over its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding to signs of deteriorating relations between Ankara and Brussels.

EU governments will vow to freeze negotiations over the modernization of the customs union between the bloc and Turkey, while reiterating that accession negotiations have come to a standstill, according to a draft communique seen by Bloomberg. They will also signal that further escalation is possible, as the EU “stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” if drilling activity continues.

The statement, due to be approved by the EU’s European affairs ministers on Tuesday, is subject to ongoing deliberations between diplomats and the final wording may change. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday that he may demand EU sanctions against Turkey over drilling activities.

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