As Turkish Jets Violate Greek Airspace, EU Stays Soft on Turkey

ATHENS — Keeping up provocations, Turkish fighter jets flew over the earthquake-struck Greek island of Samos, undeterred by the European Union which said it wouldn't even consider sanctions until the year's end over Turkey's energy hunt in Greek waters.

The EU did extend soft sanctions on Turkey for drilling in Cypriot waters but those are only against two executives of Turkey's state-run petroleum company and exempt Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who ordered it.

Turkey also continues to have the energy research vessel the Oruc Reis off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, accompanied by warships, shadowed by Greece's Navy with fears of a conflict not subsiding yet.

The sanctions for drilling off Cyprus include a travel ban in the EU and freezing the assets of individuals and entities and a prohibition for EU citizens or businesses to transfer funds to them.

Greece's symbolic President Katerina Sakellaropoulou was briefed on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the role of the armed forces by the chief of Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Konstantinos Floros.

He had taken part in a session of the EU Military Committee, briefing his counterparts and the bloc's foreign chief Josep Borrell although the EU has no military and no other way to stop Erdogan from doing what he wants.

Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis pulled back his initial demand for EU sanctions in order to give diplomacy a chance, which failed again, and he hasn't asked again for them to be imposed as of yet.


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