Foreign Minister George Katrougalos on Wednesday highlighted the importance of a decision to impose EU measures on Turkey over the drilling initiated in Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), taken by the General Affairs Council on Tuesday evening, in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency's radio station "104.9 FM".
"The main advantage of the decision, as it was taken, is that the Council, which has the possibility to take the measures, has decided and empowered the European Commission and the Foreign Affairs Service - the 'EU Foreign Ministry' - to make these measures specific", Katrougalos said.
"This", the minister explained, "has the advantage, not only of flexibility but also of allowing an escalation if Turkey does not receive this clear message and continues," while adding that "these measures could be either purely economic or other measures concerning relations between the EU and Turkey".
He repeated that Turkey now found itself isolated from the entire international community, for reasons that were exclusively its own responsibility. "It is not just the EU that has sent a clear message - and for the first time a message of deterrence - because it has decided that measures will be taken against Turkey if it continues. The United States is acting along the same lines, as the US ambassador in Athens confirmed yesterday, but we have seen similar statements from the State Department," Katrougalos noted.
"So" he continued, "Turkey's reactions do not show strength, they show weakness. Turkey feels isolated and is trying in various ways to show that it is reacting. In this way, however, it intensifies its isolation because it is still moving at the level of illegal actions that have been denounced as provocative. And in doing so, it does not succeed in its goals, namely to challenge international law, to create 'grey areas' concerning the rights of Cyprus and Greece".