"Germany, during its European Union presidency, maybe at the next European Council, will talk to Turkey with the threat of sanctions and the general deterioration of its relationship with the EU," said the German Ambassador to Greece, Dr. Ernst Reichel, while speaking to the Standing European Affairs Committee of the Greek parliament earlier on Thursday.
The European Council will soon be showing Turkey "the stick" of sanctions said Reichel, in his second address to the committee. "We are dealing with a difficult neighbour and this is a problem we have not only with Turkey but also with Russia, which is also a difficult neighbour. We must persuade Turkey and the question is how to persuade it. I believe the right answer is with a stick and carrot approach. I want to say that the European Council will show Turkey the stick very soon, he said.
The German envoy briefed the committee on the priorities of the German presidency, referring to relations with Turkey. "We live in very troubled and difficult times. The issue with Turkey is very important for the German presidency. It is not one of the issues we have included in the written report and presentation of the German presidency but, in the meantime, things have changed. You are well aware that the chancellor and the foreign minister have thoroughly analysed the issue of relations with Turkey. The chancellor considers it her own personal issue to prevent military conflict, to bring about de-escalation and a peaceful delimitation of the maritime zones. The chancellor has had some success, so far. The research vessel Oruc Reis withdrew from Kastellorizo last weekend and, if we succeed, very soon we will pass to the next stage, which is the start of the so-called exploratory contacts," Reichel said.