EU preparing to sanction Ankara as Merkel says bloc obliged to support Greece on Med issue

Duvar English / Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Aug. 28 that all European Union countries have an obligation to support Greece in its dispute with Turkey over claims to energy resources in the region. The chancellor added that she had already discussed the issue “intensely” with French President Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik reported.

Merkel’s comments came as the EU’s top diplomat said on Aug. 28 that the European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be discussed at the bloc’s next summit on Sept. 24.

The measures, meant to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could include 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.

He 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 amid Greek and Turkish military exercises.

Borrell, who chaired the meeting, said the bloc was ready to sanction Turkish vessels, block their access to EU ports and cut off supplies. The EU could also impose sanctions on the Turkish economy.

“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.

However, Borrell and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU first wanted to give dialogue a chance to cool tensions between Greece and Turkey, which are NATO allies.

Turkey is also a formal candidate to join the EU, although its candidacy is also at risk and could be withdrawn as a type of sanction, diplomats have said.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

Greece and Turkey are at odds over the rights to potential hydrocarbon resources in the area, based on conflicting claims over the extent of their continental shelves.

Tensions escalated this month after Ankara dispatched the Oruç Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.

from Duvar English https://ift.tt/32tII4E

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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