“We are clear and determined to defend the interests of the European Union and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus,” Borell said after an informal meeting of foreign ministers from the bloc of 27 nations.
“Turkey must refrain from any unilateral action. … For this reason, we must walk a fine line between preserving a real space for dialogue and, at the same time, showing collective strength in the defense of our common interests ”, he added. .
Borell said the sanctions would initially target those identified by Cyprus as participating in the illegal drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, but could extend to sanctioned assets such as ships or the use of ports, technology and European supplies.
The sanctions against Turkey come against a backdrop of increasingly sour relations between Ankara and its NATO allies. Borell said broader discussions of Turkey’s behavior are essential but that the EU will focus first on supporting Greece and Cyprus.
“We will have to talk about many outstanding issues that plague our relationship,” he said.
“But for the moment, the most urgent and the most urgent is to resolve the issue of drilling and the presence of Turkish ships in Greek and Cypriot waters, which is something dangerous,” he added. “I don’t think the other’s things aren’t important, but they’re not that urgent. ”
Turkey has increasingly encroached on the eastern Mediterranean in territorial waters claimed by Greece and Cyprus and is seen as a deep resource sink for natural gas.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the EU’s position and told NATO Secretary General Jens Stotenberg that Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests everywhere, Reuters reported.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo NIGHT ENERGY: Trump Says He Will Visit Hurricane Laura Damage | Park Service under fire for role in GOP convention | US Officially Joins Global Trillion Tree Planting Initiative Biden hits out at Trump for using White House as’ prop ‘for convention Second night of GOP convention outshines Democrats’ event with 19.4 million viewers PLUS this month, a rapid shuttle diplomacy between the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey following the accidental collision of warships in the eastern Mediterranean, with the two countries increasing their military presence in water.
Pompeo then underlined “the urgency of reducing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean” on the sidelines of his diplomatic trip to Central and Eastern Europe and the Dominican Republic.
Pompeo, who met the Greek Foreign Minister in Vienna, underlined “the strong bilateral US-Greek relationship” while in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart two days later, he “discussed matters of interest mutual”.