Ankara still risks EU sanctions over sea dispute: Athens

News Desk

Turkey has so far refused to take action requested by the European Union to avoid sanctions from the bloc.

This has been stated by the spokesman of Greece government Stelios Petsas on Thursday. He said ongoing Turkish offshore gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean has undermined efforts to restart talks on a longstanding sea boundary dispute, which has escalated military tension between the two NATO members and regional rivals.

The Greek spokesman further said that Europe is not naive. Turkey received the opportunity and the time to change course. It chose not to do so.

The leaders of EU will meet on 11th and 12th Decemeber to discuss a range of issues, including external relations and the ongoing dispute between Turkey and EU member states Greece and Cyprus.

According to AP, Athens said that a warship-escorted survey ship that Turkey has sent into waters between the three countries is operating in areas where Greece has offshore exploitation rights. Greece sent its own naval vessels to monitor the Turkish ships’ movements.

Cyprus is also angry with Turkish offshore prospecting and drilling in waters round the island where Nicosia claims exclusive economic rights.

However, Ankara has said that it has every right to engage in its activities.

It is to be mentioned here that on 1st October, EU leaders said they would consider sanctions at the December meeting in case of renewed unilateral actions or provocations in breach of international law.

Ankara argues that the EU has unfairly sided with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute.