US warns Turkiye over exports to aid Russia’s military efforts

Picture source - AFP

The United States issued a warning to Turkey about the export to Russia of chemicals, microchips, and other products that could be used in Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. The United States also threatened to take action against Turkish companies or banks that violated sanctions.

To encourage further cooperation in stopping the supply of such products, Brian Nelson, the top sanctions officer for the US Treasury Department, met with the Turkish government and private sector leaders on Thursday and Friday.

In a speech to bankers, Nelson stated that Turkey’s firms are especially sensitive to reputational and sanctions risks or lost access to G7 markets as a result of a significant year-long increase in shipments to Russia.

According to a copy of his speech provided by the Treasury, they should “take extreme precaution to avoid transactions connected to potential dual-use technology transfers that could be employed by the Russian military-industrial complex.”

According to a senior US official, Nelson and a delegation brought up tens of millions of dollars worth of exports to Russia during discussions in Ankara and Istanbul.

The official stated that it is “no surprise” that Russia is actively trying to take advantage of the long-standing commercial relations it has with Turkiye.

Throughout the conflict, Ankara has maintained a healthy balance between its good relations with Moscow and Kyiv, hosted early meetings between the parties, and assisted in negotiating an agreement for grain supplies from Ukraine.

Five Turkish banks stopped using the Russian Mir payment system in September after the US Treasury imposed additional penalties on the operator of the system’s head and forbade anyone aiding Moscow from evading them.

Nelson asked the Turkish bankers to exercise greater due diligence on transactions involving Russia and pointed out that Russian oligarchs continue to purchase real estate and moor yachts in Turkey.