On Friday, September 18, Cyprus for the second time blocked the sanctions of the European Union against Belarus, vetoing the draft punitive measures at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU countries in Brussels, reports Deutsche Welle.
Cyprus explained that its opposition to the sanctions against Belarus is because it wants the EU to enforce the punitive measures against Turkey, which conducts gas exploration in the disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean.
Diplomats in Brussels hope that at the meeting of foreign ministers of the EU member states on September 21, they will be able to persuade Cyprus to abandon the veto.
At the same time, French Minister of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune supported The Cyprus position on Sanctions against Ankara.
The conflict between Turkey, on the one hand, and Greece and Cyprus, on the other, erupted in the summer when Ankara sent the research vessel Oruc Reis to conduct exploration near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The ship was accompanied by military vessels. As a result, the Turkish and Greek armed forces were put on high alert.
The EU sanctions list includes about 40 people responsible for rigging elections in Belarus and violence against peaceful demonstrators.
It cannot come into force for about two weeks because the decision on sanctions must be taken unanimously by all 27 EU countries. On 10 September, Cyprus vetoed the planned sanctions.