There is a lot of news about a lot of foreign interest, but I believe there are 7 critical countries to follow carefully in the years ahead: Israel, Iran, Turkey, Russia, the European Union, and China. Along with the United States, these are the major players who influence much of what is happening in the world today from a political and economic perspective. Twenty years ago, Turkey was Western-leaning and striving to become a part of the EU. Not today. Under Erdoğan, Turkey is striving to restore the power and prestige of the Ottoman Empire or Caliphate.
This article illustrates not only Turkey’s desire to become a significant player in the Middle East, but the growing influence of Russia.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers pressed President Donald Trump on Thursday to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian missile defense system, saying he should follow a law mandating penalties for doing business with Russia’s military.
Republican Senators Rick Scott and Todd Young introduced a resolution calling for sanctions after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week, prompting the White House to announce it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program.
Separately, Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said removing Turkey from the jet program was not enough. “The law clearly mandates sanctions penalties for ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian Federation’s defense and intelligence sectors, which would clearly include the delivery of an S-400 system,” he said in an emailed statement.
But Trump’s administration has stopped short of imposing sanctions on Turkey, despite the sweeping 2017 sanctions law, known as CAATSA. Trump has not been clear on whether his administration is considering doing so.
If approved, the resolution from Scott and Young would call for “full implementation of sanctions under CAATSA,” describing Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system as a “direct and dire threat” to U.S. security interests.
CAATSA mandates that the president choose five among a range of 12 sanctions, from banning visas and denying access to the U.S.-based Export-Import Bank to harsher options such as barring transactions with the U.S. financial system and denying export licenses.