What Happened: The EU Foreign Affairs Council has decided to impose diplomatic and financial sanctions against Turkey on July 15 over the country's recent gas exploration and drilling operations in Cypriot waters, EUobserver reported July 16. The bloc suspended high-level talks and financial aid of 146 million euros (roughly $164 million), among other moves. The Turkish government has said the sanctions would not affect Ankara's willingness to continue its hydrocarbon activities.
Why It Matters: The package of EU measures against Turkey excludes some key options that were initially considered, such as targeted sanctions against individuals. By excluding tougher sanctions, the European Union is indicating that it could eventually increase pressure on Turkey if Ankara remains unwilling to change its behavior.
Background: Representatives from EU member states have been discussing potential countermeasures against Turkey over Ankara's decision to send drilling ships to disputed waters that Cyprus claims as its exclusive economic zone.