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Aug 14 2018

Russia’s foreign minister condemns U.S. sanctions on Turkey

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said U.S. sanctions, including those against Turkey over its refusal to release detained American pastor Andrew Brunson “undermine all principles of global trade and will undermine the role of the dollar as a settlement currency over time”.

Lavrov, whose country is also subject to U.S. sanctions, made the comments at a news conference in Ankara. His visit comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey could look for new allies in response to U.S. sanctions against two Turkish ministers and a doubling of tariffs on steel and aluminium exports to the United States.

Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, also discussed Syria where the two countries have competing interests in the rebel-held northern province of Idlib.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said last month that the takeover of Idlib was his next objective. Moscow is a main backer of Assad, but Turkey maintains a military presence in Idlib agreed with Russia and Iran at peace talks in the Kazakhstan capital Astana.

"Of course, we probably will not see any direct link to the Syrian crisis in the statements that the American side is making when it announces sanctions against our countries. But, objectively, of course, we feel the desire of the West, primarily the United States, but not only it, not to let the Astana process achieve substantive results and show it as not entirely successful," Russia’s Sputnik news quoted Lavrov as saying.