Cyprus blocks EU sanctions on Belarus citing lack of similar attempts against Turkey

Cyprus blocked the European Union's plans to impose sanctions on Belarus, citing the lack of bloc's action against Turkey regarding the crisis in the eastern Mediterranean, Gazete Duvar reported on Tuesday.  

Cyprus earlier threatened to veto EU sanctions on Belarus if the bloc refuses to levy similar measures against Turkey over Ankara's drilling efforts in the contested waters.

The collision between two unrelated foreign policy crises has bogged down the EU in competing initiatives days before a summit aimed at showing Turkey a united front.

“It’s not a secret for anyone that we don’t have unanimity because one country has not participated in the consensus,” Gazete Duvar cited the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, as saying.

The EU vowed three weeks ago to sanction 40 Belarusian officials accused of election fraud or orchestrating the brutal crackdown on protesters that followed, but the plan was then derailed by Cyprus again.