MOSCOW — From Moscow to Washington to capitals in between, the past few days showcased the way President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia nimbly exploits differences between the United States and its allies — yet also accentuated where he falls short, New York Times reports.
President Trump had barely finished catapulting a tweet at Turkey on Friday, doubling the tariffs on its steel and aluminum exports to the United States, before Mr. Putin was on the phone with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the outlet wrote.
I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
The August sanctions, targeting goods related to national security, are expected to have little effect because such trade is so low anyway.
The banking sanctions threatened by the Senate are far more serious. Some Russian analysts see the lighter sanctions emerging from the State Department as an attempt by the Trump White House to head off a new, far more damaging round, and to make Mr. Trump look tough on Russia before the November midterm elections.
Russia will further decrease its holdings of U.S. securities in response to new sanctions against Moscow but has no plans to shut down U.S. companies in Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state TV on Sunday, RIA news agency reported.
Washington said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions by the end of August after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain, sending Russia’s rouble currency to a two-year low.
Another senior State Department official told reporters that the administration decided to impose a “presumption of denial” for the sale to Russia of “national security sensitive” US technologies that require federal government approval.
Such technologies have often been used in items including electronic devices as well as calibration equipment. The exports were previously allowed on a case-by-case basis.
The move could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports to Russia, said the official, who requested anonymity in order to speak about the sanctions. For more go to RWT News Article on Russian sanctions.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.