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Greece: EU to sanction Turkey if it commits crimes against us

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Denmark on 21 February 2020 [IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images]
Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Denmark on 21 February 2020 [IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images]

The European Union (EU) will draft a proposal for sanctions to be placed on Ankara "in the event that Turkey commits criminal acts against Greece," Athens Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, said yesterday.

"I asked for an order from the Foreign Affairs Council for [European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep] Borrell to draft a proposal with financial sanctions in the event that Turkey commits criminal acts against Greece. The Council agreed and gave the mandate to the High Representative," said Dendias.

Greece recently called on the EU to impose a wide range of sanctions on Turkey over a controversial deal that was struck between the internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and Turkey, under which Ankara would carry out oil drilling activities in the Mediterranean Sea. The deal was condemned by Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and France.

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Dendias described the deal as "void", adding that the EU sanctions would include penalties on tourism, banks, and the suspension of imports and exports into the country.

"If Ankara continues with its plans to explore off the islands of Crete, Rhodes and Karpathos, the EU will respond with a number of harsh penalties," the official stressed.

The Libyan conflict has had direct repercussions on the eastern Mediterranean region as Turkey secures further deals with the GNA, which Ankara has supplied with weapons and fighters in its battle against Egypt and France-backedrenegade General Khalifa Haftar. While the Turkish plans in Libya are unclear, experts say it aims to secure the country's hydrocarbon assets.

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