At a European Council meeting on Thursday EU leaders ruled to impose additional sanctions against Turkey over its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
French President Emmanuel Macron told EU ministers Friday, addressing the new sanctions against Ankara, that the bloc will not tolerate destabilising actions in its orbit. Speaking during the final day of the European Council meeting, Macron added that the bloc will nevertheless remain open for dialogue with Turkey.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Ankara had rejected the EU sanction plan on its activities in the eastern Mediterranean and called on the bloc to act as an honest broker over this issue.
In a statement, the ministry said that Europe’s approach is “biased and illegal”, accusing the bloc of being “hostage” to the opinion of one or two member states.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan echoed the comments later in the day by saying that the “damaging” sanctions would benefit nobody.
On Thursday, participants of the European Council meeting agreed to impose additional sanctions on Turkey over its drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
In November, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned that EU member states would consider adopting a common stance at the 10-11 December summit on whether Turkey should be punished over the drilling issue.
Turkey’s Activities in Eastern Mediteranean
Turkey has been embroiled in a maritime border dispute with Greece and Cyprus over the size of their exclusive economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean and the presence of Turkish vessels in the region.
In July 2019, the EU slapped sanctions on Turkey over their drilling activities in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.
The situation further soured this summer, when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis ship, accompanied by a fleet of military vessels, to drill in what Greece considers its continental shelf.