The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not want to use the dollar in commercial transactions with Russia.
Erdogan accused the United States of behaving like a “wild wolf”. Moscow and Ankara have negotiated to let the dollar trade in their mutual trade in response to economic sanctions imposed by Washington.
“America behaves like wild wolves. Do not believe them” Erdogan told businessmen during a visit to Kyrgyzstan. “Using the dollar only damages us. We will not give up. We will win.”
NATO member Turkey wants to buy the Russian air defence system S400. That project annoys Washington, which as a countermeasure threatens to block the delivery of F-35 fighter planes to Turkey.
The relations between the United States and Turkey are strongly soured by Andrew Brunson’s house arrest in Turkey. At the end of 2016, the American reverend was arrested in the wake of the failed coup in July on suspicion of terrorism and espionage but Ankara refuses to release him.
Both countries were taking measures against each other, such as the freezing of ministerial ownership and increases in customs tariffs on certain products. The crisis also worries the markets, leading to a decline in the Turkish lira, which has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year.
The Russian Ruble then fell to its lowest level in two years, after Washington had imposed new sanctions following the poisoning of former Russian double-spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in March 2018. Moscow denies having played a role in this.