Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that Athens urged European Union (EU) states to have "crippling sanctions" against Ankara ready in case the latter continues drilling in waters claimed by Greece.
Greek Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos has said that a dialogue with Ankara is currently impossible as Athens is either being blackmailed or its sovereign rights are being challenged. “Greece insists on complying with the rules of international law, while Turkey is acting like a regional troublemaker and bully,” Panagiotopoulos said.
Turkey has blasted Greece, Greek Cyprus, Egypt, France and the United Arab Emirates after these countries issued a joint declaration denouncing Ankara’s policies in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya. In a strongly-worded statement, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said these five countries were pursuing “regional chaos and instability” in the eastern Mediterranean and sacrificing Libyans’ “hope for democracy for the reckless aggression of dictators.”
The European Union will be imposing sanctions on two top executives from Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) for the country's drilling activities in the east Mediterranean that it deemed illegal, the Official Journal of the EU said on Feb. 27. Vice President Mehmet Ferruh Akalın and Deputy Director of the Exploration Department Ali Coşkun Namoğlu will see their EU assets frozen and be forbidden to travel in EU countries.