Cypriot representatives at a meeting of the EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper II) have refused to endorse the imposition of planned sanctions on Belarus, sources in Brussels told Sputnik on Friday.
EU countries must unanimously agree in order to apply sanctions on another country, and Cypriot representatives have refused to endorse the introduction of punitive measures against Minsk. Cyprus has previously called on the bloc to take action against Turkey over its provocative actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Two sources in Brussels confirmed to Sputnik that the deadlock at Friday’s Coreper II meeting was caused by Cyprus.
On September 10, a source in the Cypriot Foreign Ministry told Sputnik that Nicosia is not attempting to make its support for sanctions on Minsk conditional on the introduction of new measures against Ankara, as Turkish vessels continue to conduct exploratory drilling activities off the Cypriot coast.
The EU has reportedly drafted a list of 40 individuals proposed to be the target of any sanctions introduced by the bloc. The punitive measures are in relation to the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, and the heavy-handed response of the authorities to the large-scale opposition protest movement that has sprung up in the weeks that have followed.