Greece Awaits EU Sanctions Against Turkey

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On Tuesday, Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, said that Athens was awaiting a list of sanctions prepared by the European Union, against Turkey. This is due to its provocative activities in the eastern Mediterranean, noting that these served to undermine stability in the region, and constitute a violation of international law.

“The obsession with delinquency leads nowhere”, Dendias said, referring to Turkey, after meeting with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, on Tuesday. The Greek FM also noted that the situation in the eastern Mediterranean concerns the entire EU and stressed that it needs to be strongly defended against regressive forces.

Dendias, while referring to the prospect of dialogue with Ankara underlined: “Many of us recommend dialogue, but there can be no dialogue under a state of threats.” The Greek FM added that “Turkey’s continued provocative behaviour makes it clear to the international community that it doesn’t respect international law and doesn’t want to engage in dialogue.”

Maas called for an immediate end to all provocations and warned that the slightest spark in the region could cause disaster. The German FM said he had two messages to convey to Athens: firstly, that Germany and the entire EU stands firmly by Greece’s side, with a sense of solidarity. Secondly, that what is needed urgently is a de-escalation of tensions, and the intention for dialogue, under the terms of international law.

The escalating tensions observed during the last few weeks has “created great concern both in Germany, with EU partners, and in NATO”, Maas said. He also announced that he will travel to Ankara to discuss de-escalating the situation with Turkish officials.

Greece and Turkey vehemently disagree over the extent of their continental shelves. Tensions escalated after Turkey deployed its Oruc Reis survey vessel to Greek waters this month, in a move Athens called illegal. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Berlin on August 27-28 and will discuss the issue.