On Friday, Donald Trump announced that he had raised tariffs on Turkey’s aluminum and steel imports to 20% and 50%, respectively, leading to a sharp devaluation of the Turkish currency. However, Turkish President Erdogan has urged Turks to remain calm, promising to resolve the currency situation with the help of exchange rates.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said on Saturday that Ankara is preparing to use national currencies in trade with its major partners such as China, Russia, Iran and Ukraine, and also urged Turkish citizens to handover their US Dollars, Euros and gold to banks in exchange for Turkish lira.
At the same time, the US State Department has announced that it would adopt new anti-Russian sanctions over allegations that Moscow is behind the poisoning of former agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southern English town of Salisbury. The new packages include sanctions against state debt and renowned Russian state-owned banks. Amidst this news, the ruble has fallen against the US dollar, which is now equal to 68 rubles for the first time since April 2018.
The Kremlin has insisted that Russia is in favor of trade with other countries in national currencies instead of the dollar and that it has repeatedly addressed this issue at high level negotiations, including with Turkey.
Meanwhile, US analysts believe that the new anti-Russia restrictions will “create barriers” between the US and Europe, destabilizing energy and financial markets and thus affecting the United States itself.
Although Washington’s new sanctions will affect Russia and Turkey in the short term, in the long term they will benefit, as this attack on their economies will force closer integration, trading in national currencies, and the establishment of cryptocurrencies to circumvent US sanctions. It is significant in this context that Turkey has been targeted despite remaining a NATO ally. Such economic war will only force Turkey to become closer with Moscow.