EU threaten Turkey with sanctions if ships don’t withdraw from Greek waters

·

The European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be discussed at the bloc’s next summit on Sept. 24 in response to the eastern Mediterranean dispute with Greece, the EU’s top diplomat said on Friday.

The measures, meant to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could affect individuals, ships or the use of European ports, Josep Borrell said. The EU would focus on everything related to “activities we consider illegal”, he added.

Read More: Turkey to hold military drills off coast of Cyprus as Greece continues exercises with France and Italy
Read More: Greece to extend territorial waters in the Ionian Sea, says PM

Borrell spoke in Berlin where EU foreign ministers met to discuss support for Greece after Athens ratified a pact on its maritime boundaries to counter Turkey’s claims to energy resources in the region.

In a fresh sign of tensions, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said Turkish F-16 jets on Thursday prevented six Greek F-16 jets which took off from the island of Crete from entering an area where Ankara is conducting maritime activity.

Sidelines of the informal talks of the EU foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

Greek media reported that Turkish fighter aircraft had harassed Greek jets which were returning to base on Crete. Accusations and counter accusations on military issues are common between the two NATO allies.

In Berlin, Borrell said the bloc was ready to sanction Turkish vessels, block their access to EU ports and cut off supplies.

Possible Sanctions

“We can go to measures related to sectoral activities … where the Turkish economy is related to the European economy,” Borrell told a news conference, referring to possible sanctions.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said the EU had no basis for its stance and rejected Greek maritime claims. President Tayyip Erdogan told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests everywhere.

“Our President told him NATO must fulfill its responsibility against unilateral steps which disregard international law and harm regional peace,” Erdogan’s office said in a statement.

In this photo provided by the Greek Defense Ministry, warships take part in a military exercise in Eastern Mediterranean sea, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Greek Defense Ministry via AP)

France has notably taken a tough stance on Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean and French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday this was to set red lines because Ankara respects actions not words.

Borrell and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU first wanted to give dialogue a chance to cool tensions.

Turkey is a formal candidate to join the EU, although its candidacy is at risk and could be withdrawn as a type of sanction, diplomats have said.

Two senior EU diplomats told Reuters that foreign ministers agreed to leave any decision to EU government leaders, who are set to meet for a two-day summit from Sept. 24.

“Nothing will be decided before the September European Council,” a senior diplomat said, although the envoy added that Turkey could also be rewarded with greater access to the EU’s market of 450 million consumers if it curtailed its drilling.

Sourced By: Reuters

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Australian radio tycoon Bill Caralis passes away

One of Australia's most well-known radio tycoons Bill Caralis passed away on Friday, July 19. Read more here.

Newcastle Jets agree transfer fee for Stamatelopoulos to European Club

The Newcastle Jets has confirmed the departure of striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to a European Club for an undisclosed fee.

Greek Storytime brings families together in Victoria’s Northcote

Kat Theophanous, joined PRONIA at Northcote Library for the launch of a new Greek Family Storytime program. 

Sydney Olympic win puts Rockdale Ilinden’s premiership hopes on ice

It took a 95th minute winner from Sydney Olympic’s Teng Kuol that sunk the hearts of Rockdale Ilinden in their gusty 2-1 victory.

Greek Community of Melbourne members vote against Constitution changes

Members voted against changes to the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Constitutio changes during the Special General Meeting on Sunday.

You May Also Like

Sydney mayors honour victims as Bondi Junction reopens for ‘community reflection day’

Six mayors in Sydney came together at Bondi Junction to lay wreaths and pay their respects to the victims of last Saturday’s attack.

Greece pushes sustainable tourism at World Travel Market expo

Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said Greece is looking to reduce its environmental footprint by making tourism more sustainable.

Greek tips to boost your immune system

As the coronavirus spreads, we are reminded to reduce exposure with other people, and take care of ourselves if we get sick.