Exploration moratorium the only way
As Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel was scheduled to end its activities on Saturday in areas within the Greek continental shelf, Athens is determined not to accept any proposal from Ankara for exploratory contacts before the December 10-11 European Council, which will discuss the possibility of imposing tough sanctions on Turkey over its recent stance.
Athens' position stems from the belief that any such offer by Ankara would be a "sham," a sentiment shared by most Europeans. In fact, the possibility of a meaningful dialogue will not be able to start even in the days following the European Council, as Athens wants a specific signal from Ankara. This would entail Ankara implementing a moratorium on exploratory activities so that talks between the two countries could start in an atmosphere of de-escalation.
The issue of sanctions is a thorny one. France wants harsh...