Tsipras says Turkish actions a sign of weakness, calls for EU sanctions if drilling confirmed

TAGS: Diplomacy

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that Turkey’s “provocation and flouting of International Law” in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are a sign of weakness and calls for EU sanctions against Turkey if it is confirmed that drillship Fatih has drilled for oil and national gas within Cyprus’ EEZ.

Tsipras confirms he talked with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades on the steps the two countries must take to present the case for sanctions at next week’s European Council. He says the EU has repeatedly condemned Turkey’s violations of international law and its repeated provocations.

The Prime Minister says that Greece’s and Cyprus’ international position has been greatly strengthened because of the regional alliances both countries have made in the Southeastern Mediterranean, and, in Greece’s case, with the government finally ending the decades-long names dispute over the name “Macedonia” with its neighbor to the north, now renamed North Macedonia, “a move that upgraded immeasurably Greece’s international role and credibility.”

Opposition New Democracy responded by republishing two excerpts from telvision interviews given by its leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on May 14 and 22, in which he explicitly called for EU sanctions against turkey if it proceded with drilling within Cyprus' EEZ.

Tsipras made his statement after the meeting of the Defense and Foreign Policy inner cabinet, which lasted several hours Sunday.