BRUSSELS, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - New European Commission President Jean Claude Junker told reporters on Wednesday that he is going to mull the measures to resolve the issue concerning Turkey's oil and gas exploration works off the Cyprus coast.
"I will discuss this question with Mrs. Mogherini [new EU foreign policy chief] because she is in charge of this type of questions and with Mr. Johannes Hahn who is in charge of the neighborhood [policy] and then we will come to a conclusion and will take all the needed actions," Junker said, answering a Cypriote journalist's question on how he plans to address the issue.
In early October, Turkey issued a maritime order, NAVTEX, unilaterally announcing that it will begin carrying out seismic survey for exploration of oil and gas in the areas south of Cyprus from October 20 to December 30 – despite the fact that the Republic of Cyprus has already given the right for exploration of these areas to the Italian ENI and Korean Kogas energy consortium.
Following this announcement, the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades broke off talks on Cyprus settlement. Anastasiades called Ankara's actions a violation of the sovereign rights of Cyprus.
On Monday, a Turkish exploration vessel entered the Cyprus exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island backed by Greece. UN-led talks on the reunification of the island as a federal state stopped in spring 2012 and resumed only in February 2014.