BRUSSELS — The European leaders' agreement regarding the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey was greeted with satisfaction on the Greek side, while Brussels sources highlighted the importance of the time frame included in the final text.
Speaking after the conclusion of the European Council on Friday, the European sources noted that Turkey's actions will be monitored leading up to December, at which time its behaviour will be reviewed to see whether it is making real progress toward de-escalation or whether it is continuing unilateral actions and violations of the sovereign rights of EU member-states, with the latter case leading to a decision for sanctions.
European officials noted their support dialogue but this will depend on Ankara and the stance it chooses to adopt, they said.
In a press conference after the EU summit, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Athens was "fully satisfied with the results of the EU summit," and that it was clear that "if Turkey continues its unilateral belligerent behaviour there will be consequences."
"In this case, the EU will use all the tools at its disposal to defend its interests. The developments will be monitored and any decisions will be taken by the end of December," he added, highlighting the text's clear references to articles 29 and 215 in the treaties, which relate to sanctions.
Europe's readiness, if necessary, to use all the means at its disposal was also expressed by European Council President Charles Michel, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen referred to two "tool boxes" that were available for either case, one for "the situation we don't want" where Turkey continues unilateral actions and a second with a positive agenda, once Turkey proves it wants a constructive relationship with the EU.
(ANA/ E. Zarkadoula)