Ankara takes action against expected US sanctions

19 April 2018 16:30 (UTC+04:00)

By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:

Despite NATO has repeatedly stated that the acquisition of Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems is Ankara’s sovereign right, there is no doubt that relations between Turkey and Russia are unfavorable for the West and in particular, the US.

To date, there are a number of problems between Ankara and Washington, the main one is the US policy on Syria.

By providing Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorists with weapons in northern Syria, the US actually endangers Turkey's national security and Ankara’s political elite does not hide that.

Despite the US guaranteed in 2017 that the YPG / PYD terrorists left Syria’s northern Manbij district, YPG / PYD militants still remain in this district, which pose a real threat to the entire region and Syria’s sovereignty.

The US also has eight strongholds in Syria, where the total number of US servicemen is 2,000. Despite the US and Turkey are formally allies in the region, Washington has lost Ankara’s confidence and the US policy on Syria in Ankara is seen as a failure.

As a result, Ankara, having big disagreements with Russia and Iran earlier, in the current situation began to pursue a policy of rapprochement with Moscow and Tehran on the Syrian crisis.

Today it becomes obvious that economic sanctions are the main leverage of US and Western pressure on one or another country.

Although earlier, a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the US sanctions against Russia’s Rosoboronexport company will not affect the supply of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara, US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell has recently said that sanctions can be imposed on Turkey in case of its buying these anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia.

"Ankara states that it agreed to purchase Russia’s anti-aircraft missile systems despite this can potentially lead to the sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and negatively affect Turkey's participation in the F-35 program," Mitchell said, while delivering speech before the House of Representatives of the US Congress.

Earlier, Pentagon chief James Mattis said that the US does not recommend Turkey to buy Russia’s anti-aircraft missile systems.

Despite the Turkish authorities currently do not make any official statements about Mitchell’s statements, nevertheless Ankara understands that the US can sooner or later impose sanctions on Turkey.

Realizing that the allied relations between Turkey and the US are preserved only in words, Ankara takes preventive actions in anticipation of sanctions from Washington.

Amid the current events, it would be wrong to see the information that the Turkish Central Bank has repatriated its gold reserves (about 220 tons) stored earlier in the US Federal Reserve System as a mere coincidence.

Currently, other Turkish banks, namely, Ziraat Bank and VakifBank have also begun to transfer gold reserves in the volume of 95 tons from the US to Turkey.

Such Turkey’s decision can be seen as the first action on the eve of the expected US sanctions.

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