Europe Shies Away from Tough Action on Turkey

Europe Shies Away from Tough Action on Turkey

By Tasos Kokkinidis
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday decided to impose a limited list of sanctions against Turkish individuals and companies associated with Ankara’s illegal drillings in the eastern Mediterranean, but failed to agree on tough sanctions, as had been demanded by Greece and Cyprus.
The vice-president of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation and the deputy director of its exploration department are currently on an EU sanctions list. The new sanctions would add as-yet-unspecified individuals and organizations to that list.
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Merkel and Borissov blocked EU sanctions against Turkey at summit: sources

By Sarantis Michalopoulos
11 Δεκ 2020
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov were the EU leaders who openly opposed sanctions against Ankara,” the sources said.
Other countries such as Spain, Italy, Malta and Hungary were also against, but did not express it openly, the sources added.
Austria was supportive of sanctions while France, which was asking for a tough EU response, reportedly toned down its rhetoric at the summit.

Erdoğan welcomes EU move not to sanction Turkey

11 December 2020
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcomed on Dec. 11 the European Union decision not to sanction Turkey, a demand introduced by Greece and France due to eastern Mediterranean sanctions.
“Our rights must be granted. There are now many rights that EU member states must grant Turkey,” Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers. “Reasonable countries in the EU thwarted this game by showing a positive stance,” he said.
The European Union will impose sanctions on more Turkish individuals and companies responsible for drilling in contested waters in the Mediterranean, refraining from making any sanctions decision on Turkey until its next summit in March 2021, which is after president-elect Joe Biden takes over in the U.S.

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December 11, 2020
EU leaders are seeking additional sanctions against Turkey over the country’s “unauthorized drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean,” according to the final European Council summit conclusions.
The move comes as Reuters reported the U.S. is poised to impose its own sanctions against Turkey over its acquisition last year of Russian S-400 air defense systems, meaning Ankara could soon face restrictive measures from its two key Western partners.
The leaders gave the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell a mandate to present by March a report “on the state of play concerning the EU-Turkey political, economic and trade relations and on instruments and options on how to proceed, including on the extension and the scope” of the sanctions, meaning that they could hit companies and the Turkish vessels involved in the drilling activities.