Pressure grows on Ankara before summit

Pressure grows on Ankara before summit

International pressure on Ankara aimed at containing its expansive foreign policy was further intensified this week with the US defense budget bill for 2021, which foresees sanctions against Turkey over its acquisition of Russian S-400 missiles. 

From the moment it becomes law this month, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would give American authorities 30 days to impose sanctions on Ankara. Under the bill, Turkey is at risk of at least five sanctions for making what the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) defines as a “significant transaction” with Russia for the $2.5 billion purchase of the S-400s.

The bill’s advancement on Thursday by the US Congress a few days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s clear position regarding Turkey’s destabilizing role, came shortly before the December 10-11 European Council, where leaders will discuss the EU’s stance to Ankara and the possibility of sanctions over its violations of Greek and Cypriot sovereign rights, as well as the incendiary rhetoric of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Athens is calling for specific steps, with the first and foremost being the immediate suspension of the supply of offensive weapons from European countries to Turkey.

Speaking at the Lisbon Web Summit on Friday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was clear on Athens’ stance toward Turkish aggression, stressing that problems between Greece and Turkey concern Europe, as they affect the Eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, he stressed that these problems are also related to NATO, as they affect its southeastern flank.

It has been made very clear, he said, that Turkey will face consequences if it continues its provocative actions. 

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