For the first time, the EU has effectively penalized Turkey against its illegal activities in the Cypriot EEZ. The Foreign Affairs Council also approved the freeze of the accession talks, the suspension both of funding and of the EU-Turkey aviation agreement, leaving open the possibility for further sanctions.

Athens and Nicosia welcomed the unanimous decision of the European Foreign Ministers. During a phone conversation, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades, discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus issue, as well as Mr. Mitsotakis’ forthcoming visit to Cyprus on July 29.

According to a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, this decision will not suspend Turkey’s energy-related activities in the region and blames the EU for bias and unilateralism on the Cyprus issue.