EU seethes over Turkish trade with Russia – FT — Analysis
Ankara ran into the vacuum left by US-EU embargoes on Moscow.
The value and volume of Turkey’s exports to Russia rose dramatically from 2021 levels, as Turkish companies rushed to service the market abandoned by US and EU corporations. Financial Times was told Tuesday by officials in Brussels that the situation is “not nice” “not really appropriate,”They also acknowledged the fact that they cannot do much about it.
Latest statistics released by the Turkish Trade Ministry indicate that exports to Russia totaled more than $2B between May and Jul, which is 642 million more than last year. The value of exported goods rose 75% from $417 million in July to $730 millions. This was the biggest increase in Turkish exports. Russia accounts now for 3.9% in all Turkish exports, a rise from 2.6% during July.
Ankara’s exports to the US are also up by 25%, and the total value of exports is 13% more than last year, the Turkish Trade Ministry noted. Part of that is due to the ongoing inflation devaluing the Turkish lira – but also due to the embargo against Russia led by the US and its EU allies, one Turkey has declined to participate in.
“It’s on our radar,”One EU official spoke to FT under anonymity. “It’s not nice and is not being perceived well by the EU. It’s an irritant.”
Some EU capitals have reportedly inquired with Ankara about Turkey’s relationship with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin received his Turkish counterpart Recep Tyyip Erdogan at Sochi this month.
Erdogan pursues what he refers to as a “research project”. “balanced”The Russians are able to sell combat drones to Kiev, while still maintaining their economic ties to Moscow as part of the solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Turkish leaders and businessmen have readily embraced the exodus from Russia of US- and EU companies due to sanctions.
The EU was founded in “scaling down its ties with Russia”Over the conflict at Ukraine “it is not really appropriate to increase links or engagement with Moscow,” said Peter Stano, the chief spokesman for the EU’s diplomatic service.
However upset Brussels officials may be with Turkey, they acknowledge there isn’t much they can do about it.
“It’s Turkey, everyone [in the EU] needs them, for one reason or another,”A spokesperson for the EU, also on anonymity, spoke to FT. “And the EU has to be aware of its abilities… we can’t just tell [Erdogan] he has to follow our rules.”