Turkey is in talks with Chinese and Russian companies to conduct geological exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Fatih Donmez, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey, Trend reports referring to Turkish media.
He said that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) is negotiating with Russian and Chinese companies.
Earlier, foreign ministers of the EU member states approved sanctions against Turkey in connection with the exploration of hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean. The sanction measures, among other steps, include reduction in EU funding for Turkey and the termination of negotiations on an air service agreement.
At the same time, if Turkey continues to insist on its position, other sanctions may be applied, including restrictive measures against companies or individuals involved in the exploration of deposits.
On July 8, Turkey sent a second drilling vessel, Yavuz, to the Karpas Peninsula on the northern tip of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots issued a permit for the right to work in this area to a Turkish state oil company.
The EU criticized Turkey on July 16 for the plans to drill in the area, warning that it was preparing “appropriate measures.”
However, Fatih Donmez said that the search for hydrocarbon reserves will continue. “We will carry out drilling activities based on our legal rights,” Donmez said.