Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias pointed to EU economic interests as being responsible for the lack of effective actions against Turkey given its provocations and threats of war against Greece and Cyprus, during an interview with ‘Naftemporiki’ newspaper on Monday.
In terms of Europe’s reaction against the Turkish provocativeness, he said it has been proved cumbersome in terms of an effective action. “This is linked with traditional economic interests of some state members which have invested, literally and metaphorically in Turkey. Moreover, some EU member states believe that Turkey, member of NATO for almost 70 years, should remain tied to the West’s chariot”.
During the interview, Dendias reiterated that Greece does not desire the escalation, but it will not accept a sovereignty usurpation attempt. He also made clear that Greece wishes the resolution of the only difference with Turkey, the delimitation of the continental shelf and of the EEZ in the Aegean and in the eastern Mediterranean based on the International Law and particularly on the Law of the Sea.
“But we do not have any delusions. Unfortunately, Turkey continues not to accept the basic rules of the international behaviour and in parallel it cultivates an aggressive rhetoric which is far beyond what would be considered diplomatically acceptable. We are always vigilant and are building alliances with friends and partners and enhancing our deterrence force”.
He also said that if Turkey observes international law “we are always willing to hold a constructive dialogue”. He also said that the UN Treaty for the Law of the Sea is part of the European acquis and therefore Turkey’s non-compliance is a European issue.
Dendias noted that in his meetings he has observed an increasing concern over Turkey’s stance, even from countries which have close relations with Ankara. “The fact the responsible European bodies will start next week a debate on the assumption of measures against the Turkish delinquency shows that the climate is worsening for Turkey”.