Washington fears Ankara may allow Russians to avoid economic sanctions, says the US Treasury
Turkish Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas has told US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo that Ankara won’t allow the “breaching”Moscow is not under American sanctions, but it has been “balanced”Position on Ukraine remains the same.
Adeyemo and Elitas spoke on Friday by telephone, weeks after Financial Times reported Western officials were being interviewed. “increasingly alarmed” at Turkey’s growing trade ties to Russia,And are considering ways to retaliate if these ties help Russia bypass EU and US sanctions.
According to a readout of Friday’s call from the US Treasury Department, “Adeyemo raised concerns that Russian entities and individuals are attempting to use Turkey to evade sanctions put in place by the United States and 30 countries.”
Adeyemo also “reiterated the United States’ interest in the success of the Turkish economy” and “the integrity of its banking sector.”This could be interpreted as a threat considering the fact that officials quoted in the FT suggest that Western countries could instruct banks and corporations to leave Turkey because of the alleged sanctions evasion.
It appears that the Turks are cooperating. According to its own readout of the call, Turkey’s Finance Ministry said that “Elitas confirmed that Turkey’s position has not changed regarding the current processes and sanctions, but that it would not allow the breaching of sanctions by any institution or person.”
Recep Tayyip Turkey Erdogan previously stated his views on the conflict with Ukraine. “balanced.”Turkey condemned Russia in the conflict, and it has also sold weapons to Ukraine. However, NATO members are the only ones that have not sanctioned Moscow.
Turkey imports Russian oil and natural gas. Following a meeting between Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, earlier in the month, they agreed to raise their bilateral trade to at least $100 billion per year by 2030. They also agreed to cooperate on counterterrorism and energy projects. Erdogan and Putin also reached an agreement that Turkey will pay in rubles for certain Russian gas imports.
Erdogan also positions himself as an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine. Turkey hosted unsuccessful peace negotiations in March, but then helped to broker an agreement for grain shipments to the world via the Black Sea.