Tensions in the East Mediterranean around Cyprus have ratcheted up a notch in recent weeks, especially following the 8 July arrival of the Turkish drillship Yavuz off the northeast coast of the island. It has joined the Fatih drillship which weighed anchor on 3 May (MEES, 10 May) roughly 90km to the west of the island and the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa seismic survey ship to the south (see map).
EU foreign ministers this week decided that the Yavuz’ arrival off the Karpas peninsula with the intention to drill earlier this month was a step too far and announced ostensibly punitive but largely symbolic measures against Turkey. These included suspending talks on an air traffic agreement, a reduction in financial aid, and a call on the European Investment Bank to review its lending to Turkey, which came to $434mn last year. (CONTINUED - 765 WORDS)