EU to consider making good on sanctions threat against Turkey
08 Dec 2020

EU foreign ministers will evaluate grounds for sanctions against Turkey over a Mediterranean gas dispute on Monday before the bloc’s leaders decide whether to make good on their threat to impose punitive measures.

Ministers will not take decisions at their meeting on Monday, leaving that to Thursday’s summit of EU leaders, who in October told Turkey to stop exploring in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean or face consequences.

Turkey’s move in late November to return a seismic exploration vessel to port has calmed tension, but EU officials and diplomats said broader issues – over Libya, Syria, Russia and authoritarianism in Turkey – have hardened EU positions.

“I’m not aware of any EU government challenging the view that the situation is worse than October and that leaders should consider the consequences,” said a senior EU official. “We have been requesting a change that has not come.”

The European Union says Turkish drill and survey ships have continued to work in waters contested by Greece and Cyprus, which Greece says makes formal talks with Turkey over maritime claims impossible.

By Robin Emmott, Reuters, 7 December 2020

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