US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell said that if Germany does not increase its contributions to NATO’s budget, Washington will withdraw the US military to Poland, leaving the Germans unprotected in the face of the “Russian threat”.
Turkey’s economy has been in increasingly difficult straits for months, especially since the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
In recent weeks a dramatic escalation of tension around Turkish oil drilling rig presence in the disputed Exclusive Enterprise Zone surrounding EU member state Cyprus is taking place. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is claiming that Turkey has the right to drill not only in the waters off of Northern Cyprus, but also in waters far from there where Greek Cyprus has claimed rights. The actions, moving Turkish oil and gas drilling platforms into the waters, is creating a dramatic new clash in the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean. The line-up of actors makes for a political Molotov cocktail of clashing interests that potentially pits not only Turkey against Cyprus and Greece, but also Israel and the USA, with Russia and China watching with keen interest. .
After the start of S-400 deliveries to Turkey, a respected German professor, international and foreign policy analyst Thomas Jäger plainly states:
The State Department demanded that by the end of the first week of June, Turkey canceled the S-400 deal with Russia. Will Recep Erdogan withstand the pressure of Washington?
Brits were fed up with Brussels telling them which cucumbers met European Union beauty standards and could therefore be sold in market. That was minor compared to fishing quotas placed on waters the British considered to be their own.
For the second time in recent years, a great power has been putting forward an ultimatum to the President of Turkey. This time, he is asked to choose between NATO and Russia.