Greece requests EU suspends customs agreement with Turkey amid tensions

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Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has written to the European Union asking it to consider suspending the EU’s customs union agreement with Turkey, the Greek state news agency ANA reported Tuesday.

Dendias wrote to the European commissioner for neighborhood and enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, asking him to look at the measure in response to Turkey’s repeated violations of the agreement, the agency said.

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Under President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has become an increasingly assertive regional power that is now engaged in a bitter dispute with Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

In August Turkey sent a gas exploration vessel to waters Greece claims it owns south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo. The vessel spent nearly a month there before pulling out in early September.

At the end of a summit last week, EU leaders on Friday condemned Turkey’s “unilateral actions and provocations” in the Mediterranean.

The bloc warned Ankara that it would consider sanctions at its next summit in December if Turkey had not changed its policy.

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