- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented the proposed sanctions at the EU political leadership summit last week.
- EU members did not support the motion.
- Bulgaria is standing up to Turkey.
The European Union discussed (but failed to agree on) sanctions against Turkey over the weekend, Euronews reported. Several countries want to punish Turkey for violating the sovereign rights of Greeks and Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, and Malta blocked the proposal.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented the proposed sanctions at the EU political leadership summit last week. This was similar to the offer made by Germany and France after Turkey’s military operation in Northern Syria in 2019.
According to Prime Minister Mitsotakis, the initiative of Athens was rejected by the five countries “for economic reasons and out of fear of illegal immigration from Turkey.” France, Austria, and Slovenia supported Greece in this effort, while the rest of the EU member states abstained.
The EU summit is due to meet again in December to discuss possible sanctions against Ankara. At present, given the trajectory, it is EU hypocrisy. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can continue to commit crimes against humanity and leave innocent people dying.
Yet, Russia gets sanctioned for Alexei Navalny’s poisoning without knowledge of the individuals responsible. The irony is that given Navalny’s lifestyle and his assets, one would assume he is involved in the Russian corruption himself, or even worse, treason. However, the scenario is still unacceptable of poisoning anyone, period.
Furthermore, as reported by Russian news agency, EADaily, Greece announced in late August that it would hold military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, in the area between Cyprus and Crete. The training is necessary due to the escalation of Turkish aggression.
Nevertheless, Turkey claims certain Maritime areas are under an agreement that was signed with the Libyan Government of National Accord in November 2019. Libya continues to be in very precarious situation.
Moreover, in August, Greece and Egypt concluded their own agreement on the delineation of their exclusive economic zones in the Eastern Mediterranean, which led to an increase in escalation in the region.
Greece insists that it has exclusive rights to operate in areas of the Mediterranean, where Turkey is trying to conduct trial drilling in search of new oil and gas fields. Ankara, in turn, refers to the terms of the agreement concluded with the UN-recognized Libyan government in Tripoli.
Additionally, Bulgaria is one of the few nations that is standing up to Turkey. Greece should combine forces in this area. Under the guise of force majeure, Sofia is looking for reasons to freeze the Turkish stream project. The socio-political situation in Bulgaria is based on a long-standing conflict between supporters of Russia and the European Union.
Representatives of the ex-communist Bulgarian Socialist Party traditionally gravitate to Moscow, which does not suit other parties. The construction of the Bulgarian-Turkish stream line has escalated the standoff.
So, the Capital publication claims that the Saudis involved in the implementation of the project are actually a “layer” to cover up Russian interests. The Bulgarian authorities had previously slowed down construction, under the guise of force majeure. Today, these force majeure factors can become a justification for creating new obstacles to international cooperation.
It is clear that if EU members will allow Turkey to continue the bloodshed, it could spill over to Western Europe. History tends to repeat itself and no one needs the return of the Ottoman Empire in any shape. Especially women.