EU unlikely to sanction Turkey over Mediterranean fuel drilling, former EU ambassador says
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Turkey, Greece and Cyprus have been at odds over the previous’s exploration of power assets in components of Japanese Mediterranean waters that each Athens and Nicosia declare are a part of their very own territory. The nations and territories of this area embody Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Libya.
The dispute, which works again over 4 many years, has escalated in latest weeks. Turkey’s pursuit to develop its oil and fuel assets within the Japanese Mediterranean even resulted in a minor collision between two frigates final month.
Greece, more and more offended at what it describes as “unlawful” exercise by Turkey, has referred to as on its EU companions to impose “powerful sanctions” on Ankara. EU leaders will probably be discussing the standoff between NATO members at an emergency assembly in two weeks’ time.
For its half, Turkey has claimed it has each proper to prospect within the contested waters and accuses Greece of attempting to seize an unfair share of maritime assets.
“Leaders can not do anything however reinstate their solidarity with Greece,” Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey, instructed CNBC earlier this month.
“Sanctions wouldn’t give a lot end result right here,” he stated.
Turkey ‘keen to play arduous ball’
Turkey’s financial system has struggled in recent times and the worldwide recession has added additional strain to the embattled nation. As well as, the political celebration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has misplaced its conventional dominance within the nation.
Vassilis Ntousas, a coverage knowledgeable at Chatham Home, instructed CNBC that Erdogan was seeking to “cement” his legacy by adopting a extra assertive regional coverage.
He added that Turkey was trying “to play a stronger function within the area and it’s keen to play arduous ball.”
Turkish officers have requested the European Union to mediate the scenario in an trustworthy method, reasonably than siding with Greece and Cyprus, in keeping with Euronews.
At a summit of south European nations on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron stated the goal was “to rediscover the dialogue with Turkey, with out naivety and in good religion.”
The connection between Turkey and the EU has been tense at varied instances. In 2005, Ankara began negotiations to change into an EU-member. The method was all the time anticipated to take a very long time, however the talks have been successfully frozen in 2018, after the EU stated that Turkey was backsliding in democratic commitments, rule of legislation and basic rights.
Nonetheless, Turkey has performed a significant function within the EU’s migrant coverage. The 27-member bloc agreed in 2015 to disburse 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in trade for Turkey to stem the stream of migrants into European territory.
“That is one other event that forces the EU to suppose what a forward-looking relationship with Turkey would appear to be,” Ntousas stated.