The European Union understands Turkey’s difficulties, but does not consider them to be an excuse for its aggressive behavior in the region, Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday in the European Parliament.
"Yes, Turkey has a problematic neighborhood. And yes, it accepts millions of refugees, for which we support it with significant funding. But none of this can justify its attempts to intimidate its neighbors," von der Leyen said.
Head of the European Commission noted that although Turkey is geographically close to the European Union and will always be its close neighbor, the misunderstanding between Ankara and Brussels is growing.
"Turkey is and always will be an important neighbor, but although we are geographically close, the distance between us is likely to continue to grow," she said.
Von der Leyen also added that Greece and Cyprus "can always count on European solidarity in protecting their sovereign rights."
Turkey has recently been actively searching for deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which has led to tensions with Greece, Cyprus and other European countries, which believe that the Turkish side is looking for deposits in areas not belonging to it.