NEWS

FM accuses Brussels of ‘slow pace’ on sanctions

fm-accuses-brussels-of-slow-pace-on-sanctions

The European Union is “moving at a slow pace” in its response to Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, but Athens will continue pushing for sanctions “with patience and persistence,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Saturday.

“A step has been made, but … the government has never claimed it was enough,” Dendias said in an interview to Parapolitika newspaper, referring to a decision at the December 10-11 European Council summit to postpone a discussion on sanctions until March.

Commenting on the argument put forward by several European governments that a ban on arms exports to Turkey would undermine NATO cohesion, Dendias asked: “How can they justify their stance when the main pillar of the Euro-Atlantic alliance, the United States, imposed sanctions on Turkey on the basis of the argument that the country is undermining NATO unity and security?”

He added that Washington’s decision to sanction Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system “is an undoubtedly powerful message,” particularly given that it was taken just a day after the European Council meeting.