Athens, Greece – The European Union must impose ‘meaningful’ sanctions on Turkey unless Turkey pulls its maritime assets from the Turkish continental shelf areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.

Greece and Turkey are in dispute over sea boundaries in the region, in the latest manifestation of decades of friction between the two NATO allies. Turkey has dispatched a survey vessel in an area both countries claim is their own.

Mitsotakis said Greece does need dialogue, but not when held at gunpoint. What threatens Greece’s security and stability threatens the well-being and safety of all EU member states.

This month, EU leaders are expected to specify their response to Turkey. If Turkey does not withdraw its assets, ‘meaningful sanctions’ should be imposed, the Greek prime minister reflected.

Indeed, if Europe wants to exercise true geopolitical power, it simply should embrace to appease ‘a dialogue seeker’ Turkey.

Turkey, Mitsotakis said, still had time to avoid sanctions and ‘take a step back’.

“They should stand down, return to the table, and pick up from where they left off when they quit exploratory talks in 2016. And if we cannot agree, then we must seek resolution at the Hague,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the international court for sovereign disputes.

French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the European Union’s strained relationship with Turkey later Thursday with Mitsotakis.

Both are attending a ‘MED7’ summit on the French island of Corsica along with the leaders of Portugal, Spain, Italy, the GCA and Malta.

Source: The Delimitation of the Aegean Continental Shelf