European Summit imposes limited sanctions on Turkish persons and entities linked to drilling in Mediterranean Sea

BRUSSELS – During their Summit in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to impose sanctions against Turkey for its aggressive expansionist activities in the eastern Mediterranean. According to the final statement, the new punitive measures include sanctions on persons, entities, and companies responsible or directly linked to the oil- and gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, as well as a travel ban to EU countries and a freeze on assets. European Union leaders condemned Turkey’s unilateral steps in Varosha, Cyprus, calling for the resumption of negotiations on the reunification of the island. EU leaders also confirmed coordination with the U.S. on the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Turkey threatens Europe’s security by supplying arms and fighters to Libya,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on the sidelines of the European summit in Brussels today. The French president emphasized that Turkey’s violations of the arms embargo on Libya will not be tolerated, and that the French government will announce a decision on the future of the relationship with Turkey in March 2021.

The EU leaders postponed taking tougher steps until March 2021 because the EU countries disagreed on how to deal with Ankara. Greece expressed its disappointment that the 27-nation Summit in Brussels could not agree on tougher measures like an arms embargo on Turkey or targeting of  its economic sectors; “The credibility of the European Union is at stake,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on his arrival at the summit yesterday morning.

A list of Turkish individuals and companies to be sanctioned will be drawn up according to the recommendations adopted at summit in the coming weeks and submitted to the member states for approval.