Moscow “cannot accept” the European Union's decision to slap Turkey with sanctions over its illegal drilling for hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying at a briefing on Wednesday.
“Certainly, it is an issue between Turkey and the European Union. We proceed from the fact that the pressure of sanctions – although, regrettably, already a factor of modern international relations – does not come the toolbox of diplomacy,” Zakharova was quoted as saying in translated comments.
She went on to slam the sanctions announced by Brussels on Monday as a “form of aggressive pressure to promote their own interests.”
Zakharova's comments echoed those of Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, who said on Tuesday that the European Union is not authorized to impose sanctions on Turkey.
“The only agency that is authorized by international law to impose sanctions against anybody is the UN Security Council. That is why, everything that certain countries and in this case the European Union are doing is unilateral restrictive measures, unlawful by definition,” he said, according to TASS.