Greece has requested that an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers be held on the subject of Turkey’s expanding provocations and illegal activity, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Tuesday. This request comes at a time of clear threat on the part of Turkey against peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Greece and in Cyprus, he added.
The decision was announced after a meeting of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday morning.
An informal council meeting is scheduled for August 27-28, however, Athens wants to take place earlier. The Foreign Affairs Council is in charge for decisions taken before they are submitted to EU Leaders Council.
Tension between Athens and Ankara escalated on Monday after Turkey sent seismic survey vessel Oruc Reis south of the island of Kastellorizo and within the Greek continental shelf.
At the same time, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Tuesday that Turkey will issue seismic exploration and drilling licenses in new areas of the Mediterranean by the end of August and continue its operations in the region.
According to state broadcaster ERT TV, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano described the situation in the area as “extemely worrying” and expressed full support and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.
A day earlier, EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Joseph Borrell warned:
#EastMediterranean : @JosepBorrellF calls latest naval mobilisations extremely worrying, leading 2more antagonism & distrust.Maritime borders are defined in dialogue not unilateral actions.Current developments will not serve the interests of 🇪🇺 nor 🇹🇷 https://t.co/ttLJBdkmAI
— Peter Stano (@ExtSpoxEU) August 9, 2020
But the question is: what are Greece’s partners in the EU really going to do with Turkey?
Athens has been pressing for EU sanctions against its aggressive neighbor. How many of EU allies will raise their hands and support such measures?