The European Union has frozen plans to blacklist the top executives of Turkey’s state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), Reuters reported, citing four diplomats.
EU leaders in December offered to freeze assets and ban travel in connection with “unauthorized Turkish drilling activities” in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean, although they did not identify specific individuals. The EU also agreed to weigh in on tougher economic sanctions against Turkey at the March 25-26 summit. But Erdogan’s more constructive tone this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s support for a more conciliatory approach, and the first direct talks between Turkey and Greece in five years have all helped to change the mood.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden also called on Brussels not to impose sanctions at a time when Turkey, a NATO ally and an EU candidate country, appears to be more inclined to compromise, European and American diplomats said.
Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin met with French and German political advisers in Ankara last week. Erdogan is also expected to hold a videoconference with the heads of the EU Council and the EC on Friday.
EU Representative for Foreign Affairs in Turkey Angelina Eichhorst said that the EU needs to meet Ankara’s expectations.