US sanctions on Turkey were ‘necessary,’ says Greek FM


Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian missile defense system was “necessary” as a means of underscoring that Ankara has “crossed the line,” not only with its acquisition of the S-400, but also with its behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a conference on regional issues, Dendias also reiterated that Greece is willing to engage in “constructive dialogue” with Turkey, on the condition that Ankara stops provocations in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. He also stressed that the only dispute up for discussion is the delimitation of maritime zones and the continental shelf.

Dendias expressed the belief that the sanctions imposed by the United States, coupled with warnings issued at last week’s European Council meeting, may lead to what he described as a “period of calm” that would allow exploratory talks to recommence.

The Greek foreign minister conceded that Athens would have liked a firmer stance on Turkish violations from its European Union partners, but added that they are nevertheless treating Turkey as a European problem rather than a country that just has differences with two member-states.

Dendias was speaking at the second Southeast Europe & East Med conference, organized by the Delphi Economic Forum, in association with the Hellenic American Leadership Council.