Submitted by Serban V.C. Enache…
Trade sanctions were in the works for Turkey [NATO ally] ever since Ankara went ahead with the Russian S-400 purchase. Erdogan’s unilateral move on Syrian territory against YPG [a US-backed group] offered Washington a good pretext to deliver on its warnings. Sanctions are being levied on the Turkish defence and energy ministries alongside a 50 percent tariff on Turkish steel exports. In reply, Erdogan restated the idea of moving away from the US dollar. “Unfortunately, international trade is now tied to the US dollar, and this poses great risks. We need to create mechanisms that will weaken the currency pressure on our economy. And here I’d like to emphasize the importance we place on trade in local currencies.”
Ankara is focusing on building new arrangements. The Russian Federation is a trusted partner, and is now filling the TurkStream pipeline with gas; the last phase of testing before it goes fully operational. Gas deliveries are planned to start before the year’s end. This project is vital because it transits no third party nation – it’s a direct link between Russia and Turkey – and bypasses previous transit challenges posed by disagreements between Ukraine and Gazprom. Investments among and between these two neighbors ramped up, particularly in the energy sector, construction, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, digital tech, and space development. Turkey is seeing more Russian tourists coming in on top of increased Russian demand for its real estate.
With Moscow cancelling billions of dollars in Soviet-era debts for the African countries and Cuba, the Russian Federation clearly signals its Westphalian approach to foreign affairs. Heads of state around the world are taking notice, aligned and non-aligned [with the Unipolar system]. For all his attempts to play both sides, I firmly believe Erdogan won’t endanger his relationship with Putin, indeed Turkey’s new partnership with Russia, on the altar of US hegemony. Ironically, some economic benefit may trickle Greece’s way, due to Washington acting out its contingency plan against a non-compliant [aka. sovereign] Turkey. I’m referring to the Yanks building-up their military presence there. Hopefully, they’ll intervene on behalf of Athens and tell the Troika to ease off a bit on austerity. Can’t have political stability without a modicum of welfare in place.
But the bigger irony is that Trump’s aggressive plan to beef-up US hegemony has had the opposite effect. It has encouraged country leaders to seek out strategic partnerships elsewhere, in order to counter the hegemon’s arbitrary, violent, and downright schizophrenic behavior. With more countries, big and small, seeking to do business in other currencies, this shrinks the US dollar economic zone and ultimately US influence along with it. At the same time, the economic zones of competing currencies are enlarged. I’m convinced there’s no hope for the US to ever join the New Silk Road. The Deep State ideology and that of America Firsters [American exceptionalism] are wholly inimical to the Westphalian, multipolar world system. Some will no doubt call me a pessimist. I’d love to be wrong on this; but chances are I’m right.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.