Two countries that have been hit by U.S. economic policies are ganging up against it. Turkey and Russia are in negotiations to carry out non-dollar trade as both countries are suffering – Moscow under economic sanctions for its actions in Crimea, and U.S. elections; while Turkey for not releasing an arrested American pastor.
Even as the two are continuing trade talks, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come out lashing at Washington. He said: “America behaves like wild wolves. Don't believe them.” “Using the dollar only damages us. We will not give up. We will be victorious.”
Washington has made multiple overtures to Ankara to release the pastor who has been held on terror charges over an alleged coup in 2016, but Erdogan has refused to do so. Consequently, the Trump Administration has declared a trade war with the nation, causing the lira to plummet to dangerous levels and shed a quarter of its value.
Turkey which is a NATO ally has warned that it would soon start “looking for new friends and allies” if Washington did not give up the “misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical”.
Negotiations between Turkey and Russia are under way on not using American dollars in bilateral trade. "We need to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local and national currency among us," President Erdogan told a business forum during a visit to Kyrgyzstan.
But, the arrest of the American pastor is not the only irritant in the Turkey-U.S. bilateral.
Turkey last year announced an agreement to buy Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system - S-400 - by early 2020. The move angered the U.S. because the defence system is not compatible with NATO's military hardware.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill prohibiting sales to Turkey of F-35 jets, citing the S-400 purchase, as well as Turkey's detention of U.S. citizens.
Erdogan said on Sunday that "some are disturbed by this" S-400 purchase, adding Turkey does not need permission from anyone to guard its territory.
He also said that Turkey is resolved to establish economic independence, particularly in its defence industry.