As Turkey continues to ratchet up tensions in the East Mediterranean, officials in Paris and Brussels have taken a tough line against Ankara with hopes in Athens that this solidarity will be underlined during talks between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday.
French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire stressed, in an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, that any threat against Greek and Cypriot sovereignty in the region will not be accepted. Meanwhile Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, said that Brussels should finish drafting sanctions against Turkey for its transgressions in the region.
After talks with Macron on Wednesday, Mitsotakis is expected to travel to Brussels to meet European Council President Charles Michel. The flurry of diplomacy comes at a critical moment as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing all of Ankara’s claims in the region, challenging both Greek and Cypriot sovereignty, even as Ankara says it has left open the option of resolving its differences with Greece at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Greece is bracing for new moves by Erdogan over the coming months, believing he is more likely to proceed with threats to open the gates to refugees heading to Europe than to launch a search for hydrocarbons in Greek waters.