“Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on the Republic of Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.  
Not a full arms embargo
Washington’s list of sanctions is less than a full arms embargo; readers will also recall Turkey had previously been ejected from the American F-35 fighter jet program. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>US sanctions for Turkey’s S-400 procurement come into effect

By Alec Mally
Director for Global Economic Affairs at IPEDIS

Russia's S-400 missile system on display

Sanctions had been announced by Trump administration last December

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The State Department revealed on April 5 that previously announced US sanctions on Turkey’s military-industrial sector would come into effect on April 7 with the publication of a US Federal Register notice.  
In legal terms, the sanctions applied to Turkey are considered secondary sanctions under CAATSA because the Turkish companies opted to conduct transactions with entities previously listed on the US List of Specified Persons (LSP).   Nonetheless, media reports of exploratory statements/trial balloons from Turkish officials regarding a similar arrangement continue to circulate. Washington and some of Turkey’s NATO allies had objected strenuously to this procurement decision, noting that sanctions were likely, but Turkey refused to back down. export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. A similar scenario for the S-400’s would have them stored in their shipping boxes or transferred to third countries, but Turkey’s activation of the S-400 system’s radars would now seem to preclude a solution of this type.    
US sanctions under the CAATSA law, or the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44), were initially announced by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December 14, in response to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia.   This is a reference to the transfer of Russian S-300s purchased by Cyprus in the late 1990s to the Greek island of Crete, to avoid having the system bombed by Turkey while under installation in Cyprus. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officers.”
Those other senior SSB officers to be sanctioned have now been named. The American-made F-35 multirole combat aircraft, the most sophisticated fighter plane in the world, during an air policing operation led by NATO at the Keflavik Air Base in Iceland. The focus of the US sanctions is a relatively narrow band of Turkey’s defense industrial structure, much of which remains highly dependent on US technology and requires US authorization for technology re-exports. EPA-EFE//MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV
Readers of New Europe may recall that the Trump administration took the initiative last December to design and announce sanctions ahead of a looming Congressional deadline at that time, which as a result gave the Executive Branch more freedom to design the sanctions program.  
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shake hands during a joint news conference in the Kremlin in Moscow following their talks on further cooperation between the two respective countries. Previously, the three titles of CAATSA had been focused on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. elections. They include Faruk Yigit, SSB’s vice president; Serhat Gencoglu, SSB’s head of the Department of Air Defense and Space and Mustafa Alper Deniz, program manager for SSB’s Regional Air Defense Systems Directorate. Under CAATSA, the LSP is the list of Russian entities that are considered “primary sanctions targets” due to previously identified Russian foreign policy decisions in Ukraine, cyberspace, and intrusion in the 2016 U.S.  
The State Department explained last December 14 its rationale for the sanctions.   EPA-EFE//GIUSEPPE LAMI
The Crete model
Since December, there have been occasional Turkish media reports that something like the “Crete model” might be fleshed out and agreed to allow US sanctions to be removed.

Smoke rises from chimneys of gas boiler houses in Moscow. Fake news spread by Moscow continuously poured gasoline over the fire, leading to vandalism and street fights. All these factors deeply frighten Putin as he looks to remain in power for years to come. For the Kremlin, external incursions are not just a matter of rebuilding its power and influence nearly thirty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The general sentiment of uncertainty is governed by the massive army presence in Kaliningrad, especially because Russian aircraft are fond to be in frequent violation of Baltic air space. EPA-EFE//MAXIM SHIPENKOV
The tsar’s chair is shaking in the Moscow cold
Russia is in a full pandemic and economic crisis. This new mixture is far more powerful than the full scope of Russia’s historic military might. According to a RAND corporation report and a recent Swedish report, NATO would have great difficulty in protecting the Baltic states against a full-blown direct attack of Russia. But it’s a problem for me.”
The Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but were only militarily free from post-Soviet influence in 1998. (U.S. Furthermore, the Baltics know that Russia has never lacked the theoretical ability to occupy their capitals – Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. Russian incursions into other countries have left the world in shock.  
This atmosphere of hostility was followed by a full-blown cyberattack on Estonia’s government institutions, banks and newspapers. The Kremlin’s hand in the crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations in Belarus and its role as a mediator – with specific self-interests – following the most recent Nagorno-Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia, were operations that were not carried out nearly as deftly as in Georgia and Ukraine. Roostat, the Federal Statistics Service, identified a 7.9% increase in food and beverages costs, with an extra increase of 1.2% registered as of this February. The number rises to 36% in Latvia (including 53% in the Latvian capital, Riga) and 4.5% in Lithuania. In 2015, after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, Putin was interviewed by Charlie Rose, a former American talkshow host. EPA-EFE//YURI KOCHETKOV

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During the events that unfolded in Georgia in 2008 and later in Ukraine in 2014, Russia has demonstrated great resolve in attaining geopolitical leverage by using brute force within manageable risks. Russia was the biggest divided nation in the world. By Cristian Rosu
A communications consultant and political analyst who has collaborated with several publications in Romania and abroad on issues in the fields on politics and international relations. Regardless, Russia’s intelligence services – the FSB (the successor to the KGB) and GRU – will try to destabilize the Baltics, even if those actions do not risk sparking a full-blown war with NATO. As a result, Putin’s external incursions into neighboring countries and his tsar-like public appearances are meant to mollify the fact that he simply cannot offer Russia a better economic future without reforms that would severely weaken his personal power. This has helped fuel the Kremlin’s confidence in its ability to carry out various forms of warfare abroad. Opposition demonstrators take part in an unauthorized protest in support of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny in St. Consequently, that realization has, in the years since the statue incident, prompted the three Baltic states to vastly improve their cyber-defense capabilities. The Baltics are now full members of NATO and the European Union, but are still wary of Russia and its tendency to pressure governments through aid from Russian-speaking minorities living abroad. A decision by the Estonian government to move a statue located in the country’s capital, Tallinn, which was dedicated to Soviet Red Army soldiers killed in World War II became a hot-button dispute between Estonian and Russian speakers. According to jamestown.org, 57 of the 85 constitutive territories of Russia (including the illegally annexed Crimea region) ran a deficit last year. Though they remain in danger as a result of the geographic positions, as NATO members the Baltic States have a powerful ally that can act as an effective strategic defense buffer in the event that Moscow makes any attempt to launch an incursion into one of the three countries. The anti-Putin movement was enabled by, amongst other things, Russia’s weakened economy. Putin has been a great exploiter of his and his country’s interests and has perfected the poisonous recipe of offering the prospect of a new Russian Empire in the face of growing economic and social unrest. Navalny has also garnered growing public support from the United States, Germany and some in the European Union’s institutions, as well as from rival factions within Russia’s power structures. The event revealed the depth of Russia’s strategy to fully destabilize neighboring countries with sizeable Russian-speaking minorities. This ethno-linguistic puzzle has always been firm ground for Russian mischief. Putin took advantage of the opportunity to reiterate his desire to reunite all Russian-speaking peoples with the Russian Federation, saying in the interview: “Do you think it’s normal that 25 million Russian people were ‘abroad’ all of a sudden? Joshua Leonard)
The threat from Russia has, in fact, ceased to be a long line of tanks ripping through the countryside of Eastern Europe, in a relentless march towards one of the region’s national capitals. For the first time since coming to power more than two decades ago, Putin is now facing a formidable opponent who carries significant political and social clout that has led to Navalny gaining loads of popular support throughout the country. Whenever Vladimir Putin wants to bring people together and relieve social or elite pressure, he organizes a war meant that plays on the idea that Russia is under siege. epa08366724 (FILE) Russian military servicemen march during the Victory Day parade, marking the 74th anniversary of the victory in the World War II over Nazi Germany, in Red square in Moscow, Russia, 09 May 2019. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

Russian military servicemen march during a Victory Day parade on Moscow's Red Square. Soldiers from the Latvian Army stand in formation before the start of a multi-national military exercise. The imprisonment and growing popularity of opposition leader Alexey Navalny has not helped the situation in any respect. A cybernetic attack that was organized by Russia’s intelligence services against Estonia in 2007 is a perfect example of how the Kremlin manipulates certain issues to drum up support from Russian-speaking minorities. Beyond the West’s economic sanctions, which did play a significant part in crippling segments of the Russian economy, and a lot of coverage in the Western media, Moscow was not subjected to considerable punishment for Russia’s actions. In order to save himself, yet again, Putin would need a forceful external action that would help him regain credibility and that prompts the Russian population into enduring more cold and hungry winter in order to expand on Putin’s neo-imperial ambitions. Army Europe photo by Spc. This economic unrest that is simmering throughout the country is further compounded by a band of powerful oligarchs that cannot be happy to see that London and Paris are not as willing to offer them either refuge or shopping sprees anymore. Russia also uses his military assets.  
Rattling the ethnic beehive is not the only ace up Kremlin’s sleeve. 30 years of actual siege for the Baltics
Putin is no stranger to building and riding on propaganda. According to gazeta.ru, cited by jamestown.org, several Russian experts have suggested that the Duma, Russia’s parliament, will have to pass legislation for the introduction of free food stamps for bread, milk and sugar for the poor. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>How real is the Russian threat to the Baltic States? Instead, Moscow’s means of applying pressure has greatly diversified in recent years and includes a mix of tactics, disinformation and fake news, propaganda, messianic prophecies, Russian capital, organized crime and money hidden deep in certain offshore fiscal paradises that are at the core of Russia’s power that it uses against the Baltics and other countries in Europe. There was no actual firm military answer from NATO. A study released by the Moscow Economic School in 2019 shows the collective deficit of all regional budgets in Russia is running as high as $9.09 billion or 677 billion rubles, the highest level recorded in the last 14 years. EPA-EFE//ANATOLY MALTSEV
The problems that Putin is now facing have a direct link to the downfall of Russians’ living standards. It’s not a problem? Petersburg, Russia, January 31, 2021. The single fact remains that if Navalny hadn’t had some internal support, he would have ceased to be an issue for the Kremlin long ago. The turmoil caused by COVID-19 to Russia’s economy has overlapped with growing concerns over perpetual grip on power and, ultimately, who will succeed him when his term comes to an end in 2036. According to reports on 16 April 2020, Russia postpones the annual Red Square World War Two parade over coronavirus. Russia’s internal complexities with regards to its economic and political dynamics push the Kremlin to consistently search for temporary silver-bullet solutions. Well, maybe not for you. This leads him to formulate policies that focus on returning Russia to the great power status that it enjoyed during the Soviet period. According to available stats, 25% of Estonian citizens speak Russian as their primary language. An increasing percentage of the Russian public has begun to adopt Navalny’s message about the future of the country.

Elemental Holding Vice President Michal Zygmunt said the project reflects the strategy of Elemental Holding focusing on the recovery and refining of critical raw materials, with the application of low-carbon-footprint technology and innovations. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a loan of up to €25 million to Elemental Holding, which is a Polish company engaged in the collection and recycling of platinum-group metals and electrical waste, for a pioneering new facility to treat spent lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other waste containing metals that are critical for e-mobility. The facility entails the deployment of state-of-the art innovative technology supplemented and co-financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) with the support of the European Commission. The plant will produce secondary metals and other materials that can be reused as raw materials for new batteries or other applications, providing an essential service in the lithium-ion batteries value chain, the EBRD said, adding that these batteries are a core component of electric vehicles, sales of which are forecast to overtake those of petrol- and diesel-powered cars as the transition to a low-carbon economy progresses. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Poland builds first recycling plant for car batteries with EU help

By New Europe Online/KG

The EBRD will provide a loan of up to €25 million to Elemental Holding for a new facility to treat spent lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other waste containing metals. The production and use of recycled batteries and metals can lead to carbon savings as high as 98 per cent compared to their primary counterparts, as well as to a more efficient use of scarce natural resources. Facebook

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With the help of the European Union, Poland will become the site of the first facility in the EU for recycling both car batteries and other waste containing metals, in response to the rapid rise of electric vehicles. “The EBRD is actively supporting Poland’s ambitious agenda to become a low-carbon economy and has already financed several large e-mobility projects with domestic and foreign investors,” he said. EBRD Manufacturing and Services Director Frederic Lucenet said this is an outstanding example of how new technology and progress with the green economy are working hand in hand. According to the bank, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the circular economy in the e-mobility sector.