In my last column, I stated that ahead of the looming winter season, which Europe is anxiously awaiting, the EU Informal Foreign Ministers Meeting is set to be held in Prague on 30-31 Aug. under the Presidency of Czechia. I pointed that Türkiye has not yet been invited to this “Gymnich” type of meeting. Let's pick up from there today.
WHY WAS TÜRKİYE NOT INVITED TO THE MEETING?
The Council of Europe announced the agenda of the meeting on its website the previous day. As expected, one of the main agenda items will be Ukraine. In the announcement, it is stated in the margin of the meeting that a working lunch will be held with the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, all of which were invited.
It is unfathomable that the EU member candidate Türkiye was not invited to a meeting where the war in Ukraine, one of the most critical wars in the world after WWII, will be discussed, while Türkiye is at the forefront on a global scale and all eyes are on its ongoing efforts to mediate a solution!
Although it is a continuation of the French Presidency, energy security comes second among the priorities of the Czech Presidency. Moreover, Czechia is one of the rare countries in the EU that can understand Türkiye's point of view on critical issues, especially energy and transportation.
It seems that the EU forgot about Türkiye's Candidate Country status while discussing the issues that could make a concrete contribution to the solution of critical challenges, but suddenly remembered it when it decided to impose unilateral sanctions on one of the countries in the region. There is no technical explanation for this. This is purely a political move. There's no other way to explain this decision, it's hypocrisy pure and simple. As I emphasized in my previous columns, this is yet another proof that the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo, which bases their whole existence on hostility towards Türkiye, has taken the EU captive.
EU MEMBERS ENJOYING RUSSIAN OIL
In my previous column, I also explained how the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo profited from Russian oil. Among the sanctions imposed, under what is called the sixth sanctions package of the EU, there is also the termination of the seaborne trade of Russian oil and petroleum products by December 5, 2022. The withdrawal of Russian oil from the global markets at a time of contraction in oil supply will of course further increase the already high prices.
In this scenario, it has been speculated that it is possible for the price of Brent oil to reach the level of $150 per barrel in January 2023. Unfortunately, the tableau that will emerge for Türkiye, which is 92% dependent on oil imports, is not very bright. It is possible to say that when EU sanctions are implemented according to the calendar, Russia will perhaps generate more income by selling less oil. As the EU and the U.S. are predicting this outcome, as far as we can gather from the news in the international press, a group of countries led by the USA started working on a mechanism to impose a "ceiling price" on Russian oil to circumvent this situation.
The EU and of course the U.S. expect Türkiye, an EU Candidate Country, to stop purchasing Russian oil as of the beginning of 2023. Due to U.S. sanctions on Iran, Türkiye is currently unable to buy oil from Iran either. Iran sanctions are not expected to end in the short term. Well, how does the EU plan to support Türkiye, an EU candidate country dependent on energy imports of around 92%, so it can bear the financial burden that will arise if it joins unilateral sanctions? A big fat nothing!
WHEN IS TÜRKİYE'S EU CANDIDACY REMEMBERED?
As I mentioned above, even as the invitation of Türkiye, the only constructive actor who always operates under a diplomacy-oriented mechanism on Ukraine through political maneuvering, to the EU Informal Foreign Ministers Meeting in Prague on 30-31 Aug. was blocked, Türkiye's Candidate Country status is remembered only when EU sanctions are on the agenda.
According to the agenda of the EU Informal Foreign Ministers Meeting, the European views of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will be discussed at the meeting. This is preliminary, because the enlargement package, which will include the EU's approaches to all candidate countries, is expected to be announced in October. The package will also include EU approaches to the new EU candidates Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, which made their EU candidacy applications after the Ukraine war. As it will be remembered, although they could not fully meet the relevant criteria, including the Copenhagen criteria, for EU candidacy, the candidacy applications of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia were processed quickly.
For this reason, let it come as no surprise if the EU, which imposes political decisions against Türkiye under the guise of "EU solidarity", makes Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia EU members, this time again with a political decision, cutting in line ahead of EU Candidate Türkiye and other Balkan countries!