Greece’s foreign minister has called for a stricter EU policy toward Turkey, saying that fear of European sanctions made Ankara de-escalate its provocations in the second half of 2020, eventually opening the way for the resumption of exploratory contacts between the two Aegean neighbors.
“If you ask me whether we are satisfied, I will tell you that we would want the EU to be tougher on Turkey,” Nikos Dendias told a virtual forum on Greek foreign policy.
“However, the EU is a union of 27 countries. It, thankfully, operates on the basis of consensus. The national interest, occasionally, supersedes the European interest. But it is still a very powerful, perhaps our most powerful, instrument,” he said.
Dendias said that commitment to international law has been the cornerstone of Greek foreign policy, adding that the country’s objective – with the help of like-minded international partners – is “to make Turkey realize that respect for international law is the only answer to problems.”
“Dialogue, of course, is like a release valve for tension; but it is not a remedy for problems,” the Greek minister said.