Eastern Mediterranean conflict erupted over the hydrocarbon-rich shelf
The EU will accelerate the development of sanctions against Turkey, which recently found gas in the Black Sea, for illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and will also prepare additional measures against Ankara by September 24 in case there is no progress from the Turkish side. This was stated by the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell.
вЂњIt is clear that there is growing frustration in the EU with TurkeyвЂ™s behavior, so the Council is asking the working groups to speed up the work on imposing sanctions against the persons proposed by Cyprus due to illegal drilling. We also agreed that if there is no progress, we can develop new sanctions. Which can be discussed at the EU summit on September 24, вЂњhe said.
According to Borrell, among the new potential measures against Ankara, Brussels is considering, in particular, the possibility of banning entry to its ports for Turkish vessels engaged in illegal drilling activities.
вЂњThe EU Council suggested that I develop a package of proposals if the diplomatic way of resolving the crisis is not successful. First, we can blacklist specific persons, assets, including ships, prohibit them from using European ports and coastal services, and financing. Measures of a sectoral economic nature can be applied, вЂњhe said.
The conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey on the one hand and Greece and Cyprus on the other flared up over the hydrocarbon-rich shelf.
In an effort to consolidate its claims to the shelf, Turkey has entered into an agreement with the Government of National Accord of Libya (which controls only a small part of the country) to delimit the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. In return, Ankara offered Tripoli extensive military assistance, which it is already actively providing.
At the same time, Turkey sent its exploration ships into the disputed waters near a number of Greek islands and Cyprus, which is part of the EU and is not part of NATO. Greece did not recognize Turkey's agreement with Libya and in response concluded an agreement on the delimitation of territorial waters with Egypt, which Turkey did not recognize.
The other day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country will take what it is entitled to in the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas.