Will Turkey join the US and European anti-Russian sanctions?

Will Turkey join the US and European anti-Russian sanctions?

US sanctions on Russia are discussed worldwide both in terms of scope and other countries’ participation. Turkey is among those countries that have close economic relations with Russia. United World International expert Mehmet Perinçek spoke to Azerbaijani news outlet calibre.az on Turkey’s position and expected behaviour concerning sanctions targeting Russia.

We present below he interview as published by calibre.az. The original interview can be read here.

Subtitles were set by UWI.

“Turkey will never join the anti-Russian sanctions of the US and Europe, since they are aimed not only against Russia, but also against other countries that hinder Washington’s plans.”

This was stated by Turkish historian, political scientist Mehmet Perinçek in the interview with a journalist from Caliber.Az, commenting on Ankara’s position regarding US and European sanctions against Russia.

According to the Turkish political scientist, American sanctions harm Ankara itself as well, since Russia is Turkey’s most important trade and economic partner.

“I refer to all; trade, economic and energy ties between Turkey and Russia, and the cooperation in the field of agriculture, logistics, security and so on. This is the economic spectrum of bilateral cooperation, which both sides aim to develop and deepen. Accordingly, US sanctions aimed at weakening the Russian economy are not in Turkey’s interests.

On the other hand, US sanctions also target energy relations and regional security. Against the backdrop of today’s difficult geopolitical situation in the region and the world, mutual strategic interests of Turkey and Russia may also be under threat. The Ukrainian crisis, which has increased many risks, is also directed against Turkey.

“Americans created an anti-Turkish block in the Eastern Mediterranean”

For example, the Americans created an anti-Turkish bloc in the Eastern Mediterranean, which included Israel, France, South Cyprus and Greece. And it is again the Americans who openly support the PKK/PYD Kurdish terrorist organization in Syria. And the naval exercises conducted by the United States are aimed, among other things, against Turkish interests. I am referring to the US military forces concentrated in the Aegean Islands of Greece. In fact, the Americans are trying to encircle Turkey from several sides, in particular, as I said, from Greece and from the east of the Mediterranean, which is already a dangerous trend for our country in terms of regional security. And the alignment of forces in the US plan, which is directed against the interests of both Russia and Turkey, will to a certain extent depend on how the Ukrainian crisis is resolved. Everything is obvious here.

In addition, the interests of the Russian Federation and Turkey coincide in the Black Sea, which is also annoys the United States. Therefore, I think that Turkey will not only not join the US anti-Russian sanctions, but is even ready to play the role of a bridge between Russia and countries that, due to US sanctions, cannot establish economic ties with the Russian Federation. In this case, Turkey can increase the level of relations with Russia, which, among other things, will strengthen our economy and regional security.

“American sanctions not only target Russia, Turkey and Iran but the European Union as well”

Here I would like to point out another very important nuance. It is a fact that American sanctions are directed not only against Russia, Turkey and Iran, but also against Europe itself. They directly hit the European economy. And it is obvious that US sanctions have already dealt a serious blow to the interests of European countries. Germany and France, in particular, have felt this particularly strongly, and I believe that the economies of these countries will have even more difficult times in the future, as tough sanctions will destroy Europe’s economic ties with Russia.

Why will, in this scenario, Europe face a bigger crisis than Russia? Let me explain. Russia can survive without foreign cars and European products; it can find alternative markets both for selling its products and for importing from foreign markets. But how will Europe manage without Russian gas? Here is the problem. In Europe, the gas price has already risen several times, and it will continue to increase.

Why is the US deliberately destroying the European economy? Again, the answer is obvious. The Americans are doing everything to stop Europe from competing with the United States in world markets, and they will do everything to achieve their goals. Therefore, they provoked the Ukrainian crisis and used it against the interests of Russia and Europe through sanctions, weakening their economies and years of well-established relations. Sanctions are a kind of trap for Europe.

It is highly unacceptable that against the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical cataclysms, not only governments, but also ordinary citizens suffer. We have seen examples of this kind of American lawlessness in Iran, Iraq, Libya, and this trend will continue. For example, we observe that Europe and the USA use art, sports and science as political instruments of pressure. They exclude Russian students from European universities, expel a Russian conductor from an orchestra, and so on. All these dangerous trends are the result of aggressive American and European policies, which unequivocally lead to dangerous trends of racism,” Mehmet Perinçek said.

Mehmet Perinçek

Historian and political scientist (Türkiye)

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April 2024