The 28 EU member-states are expected to express their “serious concerns” about Turkey’s mining activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and will pledge to “respond appropriately to full solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus” in a preliminary statement expected to be issued today by the Foreign Affairs Council.

The focus however, is at the European Council summit to be held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, with Europeans threatening to freeze Turkey from the negotiations on the customs union. Athens and Nicosia step up their diplomatic moves so that a decision can be taken to impose sanctions on Ankara if it has actually proceeded to drilling within the Cyprus EEZ.

Yorgos Katrougalos and Nikos Christodoulides raised the issue of Turkey’s provocative and illegal actions to their counterparts in Luxembourg.

The Greek Foreign Minister noted that since March 2018, the European Council has condemned Turkey’s actions as opposed to international law. He also stressed the need to send Ankara a clear and specific message of deterrence.