EU sanctions Turkish energy execs

Marine and energy insurers and brokers with interests in the eastern Mediterranean will be on alert after the EU elected to impose economic sanctions on Turkey in relation to its oil and gas exploration in disputed waters off Cyprus. This is the warning from law firm, Elborne Mitchell, as the EU affirms its solidarity with Cyprus.

Two senior executives from the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, TPAO were on Thursday made subject to asset freezes and travel bans. Mehmet Ferruh Akalin, the vice-president and member of the board of directors of TPAO, and Ali Coscun Namoglu, the deputy director of the exploration department of TPAO were named in the legislation alongside the TPAO drilling vessels, Yavuz and Fatih.

The new measures are part of a gradual ramping up of pressure on Turkey which began in November 2019 when the EU introduced sanctions but without targeting specific individuals or companies.

Sanctions specialist at the law firm, Andy Stevenson said: “Marine and energy insurers and brokers with interests in this part of the world need to move quickly, both to ensure that they don’t breach the new sanctions, but also to put systems in place to monitor further changes. If Turkey carries on with the drilling despite this shot across its bows then it’s likely that the EU will broaden the measures to additional companies, individuals and vessels. The consequences for breach can be serious and it pays to be on top of these things.”

Cyprus considers the drilling by Turkey in waters off the Cypriot coast to be illegal under international law and the EU says that the sanctions “unequivocally reaffirmed its solidarity with Cyprus”.

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