European Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas has said that the European Union (EU) will discuss the details of medium and long term sanctions against Turkey, after condemning its unlawful explorations in the Eastern Meditteranean.
Schinas spoke about the sanctions on Greek television. “Turkey failed everything”, he said. “It did everything to take on not only Europe but everyone else. This comes at a cost”. According to the Mesopotamia Agency’s report, Schinas said the sanctions would be discussed during the EU summit on 10-11 December. “These sanctions are not only for the short term”, he said. “They will extend into the medium and long term, and Turkey’s relations with the EU and United States will be evaluated”.
Regarding the tension between Turkey and Greece, Schinas said Greece’s attitude was successful and that the problem was a matter for the EU.
Greek Prime Minister Kiyakos Miçotakis said in a statement before the summit that Turkey has acted one-sidedly in the Eastern Mediterranean since August, despite EU warnings. He added that Turkey’s insistence on exploring the continental shelf of Greece was against the principles of neighbourly behaviour and the rules of international and maritime law. The Greek minister also said imposing sanctions on Turkey was inevitable on the grounds that Turkey disobeyed the appeals and warnings of the EU which were made during the October summit.
In October 2019 Turkey signed an agreement for maritime jurisdiction with the Trablus government in Libya. The agreement was recognised by the United Nations, but Greece and Cyprus announced that the agreement violated their continental shelf and reacted against Turkey by gaining the support of EU.
As of July, Turkey has deployed NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) several times in the Eastern Mediterranean to explore natural gas reserves with Oruç Reis, a seismic exploration vehicle. Germany issued statements in an attempt to ease tensions in the Eastern Meditteranean. Turkey most recently deployed NAVTEX on 22 October.