Friendship with Russia: the US continues to hurt Turkey
The United States decided to give up its efforts to strengthen cooperation with partners in the Mediterranean amid the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey
The United States decided to give up its efforts to strengthen cooperation with partners in the Mediterranean amid the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey, media reported.
The journalists made such a conclusion after US lawmakers signed a package of laws on financing the work of the government in fiscal year 2020, which outlines the relevant actions of Washington. In particular, we are talking about lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus.
In the United States, lawmakers in their efforts to confront Russia and Turkey have focused on supporting partners in the Mediterranean, in particular Israel, Greece and Cyprus, The Hill writes.
Donald Trump signed a congressional package of government funding laws for fiscal 2020. The publication explained that the document aims, among other things, to make Washington “a key player in the region’s natural gas market through partnerships with the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean in the field of security and energy.”
Legislators also approved the idea of strengthening ties with Greece in the military sphere and lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio explained that the law thus provides a comprehensive approach to the stability of key regional partners.
A package of bills was passed amid accusations of airspace violations, which Athens quite often bring to Ankara, drew attention to The Hill. In addition, the Libyan Government of National Accord (PNC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkey, which, inter alia, concerns the delimitation of maritime zones between states. This, in particular, provides Turkish companies with the opportunity to explore and extract minerals in the exclusive economic zone of Libya.
The document was criticized in Egypt, Greece and Cyprus. He also did not find support in the European Union.
“In an increasingly unstable region, when Turkey is decisively making a turn away from the West, the partnership of Greece, Cyprus and Israel with the United States is especially timely,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis, a Republican from the state of Florida.
Congress was also supported by the Evangelical Union of Christians for Israel. The Hill clarified that this is an important ally of Donald trump.
“During the authoritarian rule of [Turkish President] Recep Erdogan, Turkey abandoned the values that made it an ally of the United States and Israel. Strengthening ties between the US, Israel, Greece and Cyprus should demonstrate to Ankara that large and small countries are not afraid of Turkey’s aggressive intentions,” said organization’s founder John Hedgee in a statement.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry in response to the actions of the congress accused the American side of trying to prevent a peaceful settlement in Cyprus, writes Al Jazeera.
The lifting of the arms embargo, according to Ankara, could lead to an escalation of the conflict, which in 1974 led to the separation of the state into two parts: the UN recognized republic of Cyprus and the unrecognized Turkish republic of northern Cyprus.
They also commented on this situation in Athens, stressing that they did not want to conflict with Turkey, and even invited her to participate in a gas pipeline project through which gas from the Eastern Mediterranean would flow to Europe.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper previously expressed concern about Turkey’s distance from NATO and its rapprochement with Russia. As the newspaper The Wall Street Journal wrote, the Washington administration fears that increased pressure on Ankara could bring it even closer to Moscow. Nevertheless, the United States is still going to impose sanctions against Turkey in connection with its acquisition of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) S-400.
However, the Turkish side assures that these restrictive measures will not have a negative impact on the country’s economy.
“When the United States began to pursue an active sanctions policy, Washington’s threats could still exert minor psychological pressure on countries. However, the more often this tool is used, the less influence restrictions have. In my opinion, US sanctions will not affect Turkey in any way, including from an economic point of view,” said the speaker of the Turkish parliament, Mustafa Sentop, quoted by Radio Sputnik.
He also doubted that sanctions could affect the defense potential of Turkey, given the level of development of the country’s defense industry. According to the speaker, a negative attitude towards his state was manifested in other defense initiatives, in particular when creating drones and acquiring American Patriot air defense systems.
“I can recall what Turkey’s step was in response to the refusal to sell Patriot. We took advantage of the alternative and purchased S-400 systems. This proves that Turkey pursues an independent policy and the decisions of an individual country, including the USA, cannot influence its plans,” said Shentop.