EU warns Turkey of sanctions as east Mediterranean crisis worsens

Top EU diplomat says preparing sanctions against Turkey over territorial dispute with Greece in Eastern Mediterranean.

The European Union has threatened Turkey with fresh sanctions – including tough economic measures – unless progress is made in reducing soaring tensions with Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell on Friday said the bloc wanted to give “a serious chance to dialogue” but was steadfast in its support for member states Greece and Cyprus in the crisis, which has raised fears of a military standoff.

A dispute over maritime borders and gas drilling rights near the island of Cyprus has reignited the long-running rivalry between Athens and Ankara, with the two neighbours staging rival naval drills.

The EU’s 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, Borrell said.