The European Commission and the EU diplomatic service have proposed several possible measures on Turkey's drilling off Cyprus coast to EU leaders, Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for the vice president of the commission and EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Thursday.
According to sources, no states objected to the measures set out in the statement. "The EU should act on principles instead of taking the Greek Cypriot side", he said. The ship dropped anchor off the island's north-eastern Karpas peninsula on Monday.
In May, Ankara sent the ship Fatih into Cyprus' exclusive economic zone to begin drilling there, while the Yavuz was deployed last month to search for oil and gas to the east. Turkey has despatched exploration vessels into the area, and Cyprus says that may be a violation of its sovereignty.
It added that the European Union would be ready to introduce more restrictive measures against Turkey should Ankara continue drilling. Ankara says its actions abide by worldwide law and that it is drilling inside its continental shelf.
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"Turkey's drilling activities are fully granted by Turkish Cypriot Authorities, namely the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, within its continental shelf notified to United Nations", the statement said.
Cyprus, which has switched hands between the Greek, Roman, Ottoman and British empires over the centuries, was partially occupied by Turkey after a 1974 Greek coup which attempted to unite the island with Greece.
Brussels also voiced "grave concern" over Turkey's declared intention "to illegally conduct" a new drilling operation off the island.
While Cyprus wants a tougher line on Turkey, it as failed to have arrested the crew of a Turkish ship drilling in the EEZ, parts of which Turkey doesn't recognize, after issuing an global warrant.