The EU will impose sanctions on Turkey if it continues with its "provocations and pressures" in a dispute with Greece over resources and borders.
The EU will impose sanctions on Turkey if it continues with its “provocations and pressures” in a dispute with Greece over energy resources and maritime borders.
EU threaten Turkey with sanctions
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that she wants “a positive and constructive relationship with Turkey and this would be also be very much in Ankara’s interest but it will only work if the provocations and pressures stop. We therefore expect that Turkey from now on abstains from unilateral actions. In case of such renewed actions by Ankara, the EU will use all its instruments and options available. We have a toolbox that we can apply immediately.”
Late last night, EU members agreed to impose sanctions if “provocations” have not stopped by December. Tensions mounted earlier this year when Turkey sent a ship into a disputed area to try and find fossil fuel resources. Turkey and Greece have already set up a military hotline to try to prevent further escalation between the countries.
Charles Michel, European Council President, said the EU was offering Turkey a good deal on other areas but still refusing to rule out sanctions saying “We very much want to give political dialogue a chance to move toward greater stability”. Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Chancellor, tweeted on the matter writing: “The EU issues a clear threat of sanctions against Turkey should it continue to violate international law.”
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the EU had sent “a message of unity, solidarity and determination” to Turkey, setting out the consequences of its “aggressive behaviour”. A Turkish spokesperson warned that sanctions would damage progress in their talks with Greece telling a Reuters reporter: “If the EU applies sanctions, this will not deter us. On the contrary this would increase our resolve.”
This is the EU’s second legal threat to another country this week having already started the process of suing the UK for refusing to remove the Internal Markets Bill from its sovereign internal legislation.