Sanctions will create new opportunities, says Former Turkish Minister

  14 March 2022    Read: 418
  Sanctions will create new opportunities, says Former Turkish Minister

Former Turkish Minister Bulent Akarjali talked about the causes and possible consequences of the economic war against Russia in an interview with

Bulent Akarjali graduated from Saint Joseph French High School and the Faculty of Economics at the University of Brussels with a master's degree in Economic Analysis and Economic Policy. Akarca worked as a researcher at the University of Brussels. After returning to Turkey, he worked in foreign trade and contract services, insurance. He is the founder and president of the Turkish Democracy Foundation, as well as the founder and director of Istanbul Bilgi University. In the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st periods of his political life, he was an ANAP Istanbul MP, Minister of Health, Social Assistance and Minister of Tourism. He is married, has two children and is fluent in French and English.

- The war between Russia and Ukraine has led to uncertainty on the world economic agenda. Many experts talk about the global crisis. What do you think about it?

- There has been economic hardship in the world for some time. Inflation continued to surge in America, and the European Union started to weaken politically. The separation of Britain from the EU and the weakness of the government that replaced Merkel with someone else did not work in favour of the EU. Besides, Macron was not capable of running a state. These failures should have affected the economy which also has already reached out to Turkey.

The Russian-Ukrainian war created another problem. Even if there was no war, everyone was seemingly trying to keep their money in their pockets. Many sanctions have now been imposed on Russia. However,  imposing economic sanctions can become a double-edged sword that adversely affects both Europe and America in terms of Russia’s ties with the West. Everyone in these countries will suffer from the negative consequences. For instance, if the German company Volkswagen shuts down its plant in Russia, not only Russia but also Volkswagen will lose money.

Therefore, a serious economic downturn is expected. Of course, Russia will lose a lot of money. On the other hand, I believe that Putin has taken all necessary precautions. Putin has previously stated that Russia has procured $ 600 billion. If the West does not purchase gas and gasoline, it will sell them to others such as Turkey.

These sanctions, initiated by the United States and Europe, will have a "boomerang effect" in the future. I think that after a while they will start thinking again about these sanctions. So the question is, what was the need for these sanctions? Because they are helpless in the combat against Russia considering the power of the military. Today, the West does not have an army to carry out operational military operations. NATO has 30 member states and 25-26 languages are spoken in this organization. Military commands are not that good at communicating with each other. Therefore, they can not make a decision. Most importantly, NATO needs a unanimous vote of all members to make a decision. If one member says "no", a decision cannot be made. Hence, NATO has voiced a lot of opinions about Ukraine but failed to do something.

I said from the first day that every American president since Nixon needed a war. The Iraq war was also a war based on lies. There were sayings about chemical weapons in Iraq, but nothing has happened. They tried to disseminate false evidence but all of them were exposed. The United States had already information that Russia would attack Ukraine. Although America knew about everything, it did not help Ukraine. They could even close the airspace but they did not. They intend to collect Europe around the USA by sacrificing Ukraine to Russia as well as intimidating Europe. Biden made the announcement when he was elected president. Everyone remembers the words "America is back." "We will unite and strengthen our military with Europe," Biden said. It was his goal. Putin, knowingly or unknowingly, has become a tool in this American game.

-Is it possible that the Caspian littoral countries will be affected by the sanctions imposed on Russia?

- Everyone will feel the impact of sanctions but I do not think Azerbaijan will be one of the most affected ones by sanctions. As Azerbaijan does not export many goods to Russia, it will be among the least affected.

If any sanctions are imposed on the Caspian littoral states, the exact opposite process can happen. Sanctions might push these countries and Russia even closer. The same sanctions will need to be applied to Georgia and Armenia, which is impossible. Neither Azerbaijan, nor Turkmenistan, nor even part of Kazakhstan, have stated their support for this war. Therefore, I do not think there will be any sanctions. Turkey will not allow the involvement of Turkic-speaking countries, especially Azerbaijan, in this kind of issue.

- Is it possible to turn all the things that happened into something positive?

- As I mentioned, even if Azerbaijan is affected by all these, it will be less than expected. The main reason for it is oil. Also, following the victory in Karabakh, people are in a good mood and the country ensured stability. On the whole, sanctions against Russia will have an impact on the world economy. Western sanctions on Russian gas and oil will particularly create opportunities for Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries to sell gas and oil to the West. The record-breaking surge in energy prices will allow Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to earn more money.

Since Russia cannot import anything from the West, it will import more goods from Turkey than before. Turkey is one of the major exporter countries. It exports thirty thousand types of goods.

Russia also has good trade relations with Azerbaijan. Turkey can also develop trade ties with Russia through Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani and Turkish businessmen can unite and eye a new way to Russia.

In general, the Caucasus can build a system in these difficult days of Russia. There may be an opportunity to establish the Caucasus Economic Union under the leadership of Azerbaijan.

Another important issue is the cutting of the relations of Russian oligarchs from the West. Where will these oligarchs operate from now on? Of course, in Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan ... As everyone in these countries speaks Russian, it will be more comfortable for them. Crisis creates both opportunities and chances. I believe the Turkish world will benefit from this chance more. It will result in building a more economically developed Azerbaijan and a stronger union of Turkey and Azerbaijan with the concept of "one nation".

The biggest negative impact can be predicted for Iran.

- What do you think about the ideas on a new economic order in the world?

- America will not change the system which is established after the Second World War. More specifically, the military system, which was established after World War II, was NATO, the political system was the United Nations, and the economic system was the IMF and the World Bank, which established the dollar's dominance around the world. America will not allow these systems to come under threat. If something happens to these systems, they will lose their power in the world.

Both the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization are in America's power. For instance, the World Health Organization aims to make the American pharmaceutical industry world dominant. Also, the activities of the World Trade Organization are in America’s interests. If China takes action after these sanctions, then Russia, China and the Far East can work together to build a new system. This is a very difficult issue as neither Russia nor China has such a significant influence on the international financial and banking sphere. They have money, but they are not in any system. Today, China has the second-greatest amount of U.S. debt held by a foreign country. China has about 3 trillion US treasury bills that it can sell. However, even after that, the price of these bills will fall. This is a loss for China. If we pay attention, we will see that China has seized almost all the countries in the Far East by trade. In this case, the last thing they want is to confront America. The reason is that in the Far East, they do what they want without encountering any obstacles. If their relations with the United States deteriorate, they will have to take a stand against Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, and even the Philippines and Indonesia, especially Japan. Why does China need to take a stand against them?

The USA gained more benefit from this crisis. Turkey will have an opportunity to resolve some conflicts with the United States. Turkey can tell America, "If you want me to grow stronger in NATO, then stop selling weapons to terrorists in Syria. If you do not stop providing them with the weapons, then I am developing relations with Russia. I will solve the problems with Syria as well. "

On the other hand, one of the main reasons for Russia's attack on Ukraine is NATO's armament of Ukraine. We have been telling Greece for some time to get rid of the weapons on the islands. The Lausanne Treaty prohibits the placement of weapons on the islands. Greece has armed the islands despite the ban. We can demand from the USA to withdraw these weapons from the islands.

Armenia is one of the countries that can be hypocritical in these events. They want support from both Europe and America, and they stand by Russia.


More about:

News Line