Russia opposed to EU sanctions against Turkey
Moscow negatively views the European Union's decision to impose sanctions on Turkey due to a deterioration of the situation in the Mediterranean Sea, but it does not mean that Russia backs the actions undertaken by Turkey which has dispatched its drilling vessels to Cyprus' exclusive economic zone to drill for natural gas there, the newspaper Izvestia said on Tuesday.
"Moscow is opposed to restrictive measures against Ankara. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has told Izvestia that unilateral sanctions are at odds both with international law and the procedures of the UN Security Council," the newspaper said.
The newspaper quoted Grushko as saying that such measures, as a rule, "lead to a radicalization of the positions" of opposing sides and "fail to achieve their goals."
"We proceed from the premise that when there are unresolved conflicts, everyone needs to refrain from moves able to further complicate the situation and make the political process aimed at settling this conflict far more difficult," Grushko said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Moscow is troubled by a deterioration of the situation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
"A violation of the sovereignty of Cyprus cannot help create conditions for a lasting, viable and fair settlement to the Cypriot problem," the ministry said, according to Izvestia.
Moscow also insists that the UN Security Council ought to dedicate serious effors to finding a solution to the Cypriot issue. In turn, Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus Stanislav Osadchy told the newspaper that the permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United Kingdom, China, Russia, the United States, and France - could act as guarantors of such a settlement process.
As regards bilateral relations with Cyprus, Russia has good interaction with its southern part, and Moscow hopes that it will remain as it is today, Osadchy said.
At the same time, according to the newspaper, the Turkish parliament believes that EU sanctions against Turkey would be more harmful from a political standpoint rather than from an economic one.
"There would be far more harm from a political standpoint - Ankara could renounce its association with the European Union forever," Turkish MP Ozturk Yılmaz told Izvestia.
According to Izvestia, large deposits of hydrocarbons had been discovered in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and on the continental shelf. The Turkish leadership has been challenging the borders of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, saying that Ankara has the right to explore natural resources in this region. In early May, Turkey sent the Fatih and Yavuz drilling vessels there, saying that its exploration work in the area is expected to run until September 3, 2019.
According to earlier reports, on July 15 EU foreign ministers endorsed sanctions against Turkey over its actions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. As part of these measures, the EU will reduce financial support for Turkey and will suspend talks on an air transportation agreement, the European Council said in a statement.