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The EU has warned Turkey of possible sanctions for its actions in the Mediterranean


This was stated by EU High Representative Joseph Borrell during a virtual press conference following a meeting of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, a Ukrinform correspondent reports.

«We had a long and interesting discussion about Turkey. Finally, I presented my own conclusions, which were agreed by the members of the EU Council. These conclusions will determine my future actions as EU High Representative / Vice-President of the European Commission. We stressed that we see Turkey as an important country for the European Union, with which we would like to strengthen good relations. But this must be done with respect for European values, principles and interests, «Borrel said.

He noted that Turkey’s actions in several issues of international and regional policy are directly contrary to the interests of the European Union.

«Member states have agreed that relations between the EU and Turkey are deteriorating. This is a matter of concern, especially for the events in the Mediterranean with regard to Libya, which are directly detrimental to our interests. Turkey needs to solve several serious problems at once in order to change the situation, «the EU High Representative said.

Borrel acknowledged that the situation in Libya «remains bad.» As violations of the UN arms embargo on the country continue, the European Union intends to strengthen the sanctions regime and increase the effectiveness of the EUNAVFOR Med IRINI naval operation.

«We have agreed to call on Turkey to make an active contribution to the political settlement in Libya and to respect the commitments it has made under the Berlin Process, including compliance with the UN arms embargo. We and the member states are doing our part, in particular through Operation IRINI, which is designed to enforce the arms embargo, ”Borrell said.

He stressed the continuity of the position of support for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of member states, in particular the EU Council resolution on Turkey’s one-man action on illegal drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.

The High Representative emphasized that Turkey’s actions, which had led to tensions and an influx of refugees at the EU’s external borders in early March, should not be repeated.

Borrel said he had found widespread support among European ministers in efforts to find ways to reduce tensions between the EU and Turkey and reach an understanding. At the same time, he said, the European Union is preparing proposals for adequate measures that can be taken in response to Turkey’s one-man actions in the Mediterranean. In particular, the EU intends to continue consultations on the framework conditions for imposing sanctions in response to such actions.

«The EU Council of Ministers recalled the decision of the Council of the European Union on illegal drilling by Turkey and at the same time expressed a desire to reduce tensions. At the same time, the position was very clear that the sovereignty of member states and their sovereign rights should be respected in accordance with international law. We stand for dialogue and negotiation… At the same time, the Council also agreed to prepare proposals for measures that can be taken in response to the challenges we face, ”said the EU High Representative.

According to him, work on the relevant proposals to implement the decision of the EU Council will continue at the technical level, in particular in the context of the framework conditions for sanctions, which received a request from Cyprus. Borrel intends to present these proposals during an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in late August.

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