EU and US launched a sanctions attack on Ankara

Turkey's relations with NATO allies have entered a phase of acute crisis. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he “will not allow a policy of destabilization” by Ankara towards EU members and their neighbors. The statement came after the European Union announced the expansion of sanctions against Turkey for carrying out drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, which are considered illegal in Brussels. At the same time, Washington launched a diplomatic offensive, where they prepared a “punishment” for Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. So far, Ankara is limited to verbal attacks: the initiators of the sanctions are accused of making decisions “contrary to the rule of law” and disrespecting an “important NATO partner”.

“Europe has demonstrated its ability to be firm with Turkey to end its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, on the second day of the EU summit. He added that European leaders “will not allow the policy of destabilization towards the members of the European Union, as well as its regional neighbors,” which Ankara is trying to pursue.

Such a harsh statement sounded against the backdrop of the European Council's decision to expand individual sanctions against Turkish individuals and legal entities, first introduced back in the fall of 2019. The reason then was Ankara's drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, which are considered illegal in Brussels. Who exactly will be subject to the new restrictions has not yet been disclosed, but it is known that the measures include a ban on travel to the EU and freezing of assets in the EU if any. “Sanctions are not an end in themselves, but they are the best tool for Turkey to change its behavior,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in this regard after the summit.

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