The German foreign minister on Monday expressed his country’s opposition to Greece’s demand to impose an arms embargo on Turkey.
Speaking to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), Heiko Maas said: “I do not find the demand of an arms embargo against Turkey strategically correct. It is not easy to do this against a NATO partner. We saw that NATO ally Turkey easily bought missiles from Russia because it could not buy from the U.S.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this month also turned down calls by Greece to impose an EU arms embargo on Turkey, underlining Berlin’s strategic commitments within the NATO alliance.
Speaking to reporters after an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, Merkel had said she was happy with the outcome of the meeting and said decisions on Turkish-EU relations were also “well-balanced.”
Asked about Greece’s request that Germany halts arms sales and delivery of Type 214 class submarines to Turkey, Merkel had said they should take into consideration “the strategic dependencies” within the NATO alliance.
EU leaders during a meeting in Brussels on Dec. 10 decided to draw up a list of Turkish targets for sanctions over Ankara’s “unilateral actions and provocations” in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Ahead of the summit, Greece has called for an EU arms embargo on Turkey due to recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. But during the discussion, a majority of European leaders opposed an arms embargo or severe economic sanctions, opting instead for a softer line.