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A financial deficit pushed Turkey closer to the US with many unknown of the S-400s

This is a comment post from Michail Agadjanyan. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

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ANKARA, (BM) – Turkey has negotiated with the United States about the possible protection of the currency exchange line from the US Federal Reserve System and discussed other financing options to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

This was announced today, April 10, on condition of anonymity by Reuters Turkish officials.

Ankara seeks to provide an additional inflow of financial resources and protect the Turkish lira from a significant devaluation through closer cooperation with the United States. At the same time, Reuters interlocutors note, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not considering the possibility of “concluding a deal” with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), given what they call “negative internal perception” in Turkey of working with this international credit and financial structure. It is known that in early 2019, Erdogan announced the reluctance of his cabinet to have any business with the IMF.

Analysts express concern that reducing their own reserves in foreign currency, some of which had previously been used to stabilize the lira against the dollar, could prevent Turkey from combating the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. Hence the openness of Ankara to rapprochement with Washington in an attempt to enlist its financial support. It is expected that measures taken in Turkey to prevent the further spread of coronavirus will lead its economy to a second recession in less than two years.

The US Federal Reserve has previously expanded its swap lines in which it accepts other currencies in exchange for dollars for central banks in several countries, including Brazil, South Korea and Mexico, to support global financial markets in times of crisis. Turkey is a NATO ally, which nevertheless has been in strained relations with the United States in recent years, until it has become one of the preferential partners of the US Federal Reserve.

“The two countries had top-level contacts on expanding cooperation,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters, referring to Turkey and the United States. “Ankara considers this issue positively, if possible.”

A second Turkish official said: “The Fed’s exchange line is quite attractive and could be considered an option.”

It should be noted that amid talks about the warming of relations between Turkey and the United States (which was largely forced by the Turkish side), there were suggestions that in exchange for a line of exchange and loans, the Donald Trump administration would require countermeasures of a military-political nature from the NATO ally. In this context, the resonant arms deal of Turkey and Russia on the acquisition by the country – a member of the North Atlantic Alliance of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) S-400 Triumph. As recently as last February, wishes from the Turkish partner were voiced from Washington regarding the refusal to deploy long-range defensive systems already purchased from Moscow. As Erdogan promised, such a deployment was supposed to happen in the current month. But so far, there is no information on the staging of the S-400 air defense system on combat duty in Turkey.

By discouraging Ankara from the Russian Triumphs, the United States demonstrated its readiness to act on this issue extremely aggressively, using the appropriate vocabulary. So, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 17 said that the United States considers Russia responsible for the “killing of dozens of Turkish troops in Syria.” As the chief of the State Department then pointed out, the American side “will consider the issue of additional (military) assistance to Turkey” in connection with the situation in northwestern Syria.

“We are confident that Russia is responsible for the killing of dozens of Turkish troops during their military operations (in the Syrian province of Idlib),” said Pompeo. “We support Turkey, our NATO partner, and will consider taking additional measures to help Turkey and put an end to violence in Idlib and the rest of Syria.”

US Permanent Representative to NATO Kate Bailey Hutchison said on February 27 that the Turkish side should know “who is a reliable partner and who is not.” “I hope that President Erdogan will see that we are an ally, their past and future ally, and that they must get rid of the S-400,” she said.

Another call by the United States to Turkey to “reason” and to refuse to deploy the S-400 already purchased from Russia followed against the backdrop of an escalation in the Syrian province of Idlib, where on February 27, 36 Turkish soldiers died as a result of a Syrian air strike.

The United States at the beginning of last month, before reaching March 5 in Moscow, the Russian-Turkish accords on Idlib, expressed their willingness to provide Turkish ammunition along with “humanitarian aid” for residents of northwestern Syria.

The plans of the American side to provide military assistance to the Turkish NATO ally on March 3 were announced by US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey. Speaking with reporters in Hatay, a border province of Turkey, where the US Special Representative arrived with US Ambassador to Ankara David Satterfield, Jeffrey said that Washington would provide military supplies to Turkish partners in the near future.

The US ambassador to Turkey, in turn, said that the US side is considering Ankara’s request for the supply of Patriot air defense and missile defense systems. Clear business, as an “alternative” to the Russian S-400.

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Original source: EurAsia Daily

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