French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sept. 6 that he and his counterparts in other EU countries had already discussed “the range of reprisals we could take with regards to Turkey” over escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Drian refused to indicate the type of sanctions that Turkey may face, but said that there is an “entire series of measures.”
“We have a lot of options and he knows it,” the French minister said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“It’s up to the Turks to show that this matter… can be discussed,” he told France Inter radio, Agence-France Presse reported (AFP) reported. “If so, we can create a virtuous circle for all the problems on the table.”
EU leaders will discuss whether to impose sanctions on Turkey during a summit in Brussels on Sept. 24-25. European Council President Charles Michel said on Sept. 4 that a “carrot and stick” approach will be followed during this summit.
Last month Turkey sent a seismic survey vessel for hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters in the region after a maritime deal between Greece and Egypt.
On Sept. 3, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Greece and Turkey had agreed to start technical talks to avoid accidental clashes in the region.
The following day, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece would start talks with Turkey to resolve a dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean once Turkish “provocations” ceased.