Daily Memo: Western Sanctions Lining Up Against Turkey

The U.S. House advanced a bill that requires sanctions, while the EU debates its own measures.

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Turkey faces sanctions. EU leaders are preparing sanctions on Turkish individuals and companies involved in drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, according to a draft statement prepared ahead of a summit on Thursday. Greece and Cyprus, the countries affected by Turkey’s activities, will want tougher measures – especially considering similar sanctions last year had no effect – but they’re unlikely to get it. Other EU states worry about losing Ankara’s cooperation in controlling migration flows, or about damaging economic relations with Turkey during pandemic times. And it helps that the U.S. House of Representatives approved a defense bill on Tuesday that would force the president to sanction Turkey over unrelated issues, meaning the bloc may be able to wait for the incoming Biden administration to take the lead in resisting Turkey’s aggressive actions. Erdogan undeterred. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said EU sanctions were of little concern before departing for a two-day visit to Azerbaijan, where he and his counterpart will discuss bilateral relations. Talks will also cover the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and issues related to the establishment of a Russo-Turkish center to monitor compliance with the cease-fire brokered last month between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Major step for Japanese defense. […]

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