Mitsotakis: Turkey Must Choose Between the Law Or Provocation

BRUSSELS — The approach hasn’t worked yet, but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Turkey has to adhere to international laws it doesn’t recognize and stop provocations against Greece in the air and the seas.

Speaking to other European Union leaders in Brussels, he said Turkey “must know the consequences of its choices in each case,” although Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan prefers provocations and ignores EU edicts and entreaties.

Talking to reporters after the meeting of EU chiefs, he said that he told them that Greece’s hunt for energy in the Eastern Mediterranean has important dimensions for the bloc, but the EU has held back from sanctions on Turkey, afraid to confront Erdogan.

“What is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean now has a geopolitical and energy significance for the EU,” he said.

Referring to the energy crisis, he said he called for “a pan-European response” and raised the possibility of the transfer of liquefied natural gas from Egypt to Greece, which he said could contribute to the EU’s supplies.

The Greek premier also noted that “we requested that the European Commission evaluate the energy market the soonest possible, so as to suggest solutions against these sudden fluctuations in energy prices.”

Moreover, the Greek government has already proposed that natural gas storage be increased, and it has also put forth the idea for collective purchasing of natural gas, to increase the bargaining advantage against gas suppliers, he added.

Additionally, the Eastern Mediterranean basin may provide cheaper electricity in light of the recent electrical interconnection agreement between Greece and Egypt, Mitsotakis pointed out.

The bloc leaders called on Turkey to follow the terms of an essentially-suspended 2016 refugee and migrant swap deal that has pushed some 100,000 into Greece and its islands but Erdogan has ignored that and allows human traffickers to keep sending more.


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