Greece says EU credibility on the line

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged the European Council summit to treat Turkey aggression as a matter of EU credibility.

EU leaders in Brussels are expected to agree on more sanctions against Turkish individuals and businesses for its energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Although Greece and Cyprus want a tougher stance by Brussels to impose sanctions against the Turkish state.

“It is very clear what is at stake here: The credibility of the European Union. At the October European Council we decided, all the heads of state and government, in the event Turkey continues its aggressive behaviour, there will be consequences,” Mitsotakis told reporters.

“We jointly agreed that decisions will be taken at this European Summit, in December. This is the moment to show whether we, as Europe, really are credible in what we ourselves have agreed. Pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept),” he added.

The EU created a sanctions programme last year to punish unauthorised exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, freezing assets of people and companies accused of planning or participating in activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone or on its continental shelf.

So far, only senior officials of Turkey’s state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) have been put on the sanctions list but Cyprus proposed a list of more names earlier this year.

EU leaders reserved the right to impose tougher measures if Turkey did not de-escalate regional tensions over energy exploration.

“On Turkey, the Foreign Affairs Council reviewed the latest events and we cannot provide a positive assessment.

“The behaviour of Turkey has not changed fundamentally. We can even say that, from some points of view, things have been worsening.

“The assessment is not a positive one and we have to deal with it,” said the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell. (source CNA)