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The United States warns Turkish businesses against working with sanctioned Russians

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News Tech: The Biden administration advised Turkish companies against doing business with sanctioned Russian entities and people, ratcheting up US pressure on a NATO partner that has maintained a close connection with Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine.

According to a source familiar with the email, Mr. Adeyemo addressed a similar letter to Turkey’s leading industry organisation, the Turkish Industry and Business Association, abbreviated TUSIAD.

In a letter dated Aug. 22 to the American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo stated that Turkish firms may face US penalties if they did business with sanctioned Russian people.

The written warnings are an extension of the United States’ efforts to persuade Turkish institutions to comply with international sanctions imposed on Russia following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not reply immediately to inquiries regarding the letter.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as a middleman in the Ukraine crisis, holding two rounds of failed peace talks and pressing Russian and Ukrainian leaders to convene for a fresh round of discussions. Mr. Erdogan also assisted in the negotiation of a grain export agreement, which resulted in the restart of Ukraine’s Black Sea grain shipments early this month as part of a UN-led effort to ease a worldwide food crisis. Millions of tonnes of food items were stranded in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion.

Since Russia’s incursion in February, US officials have privately expressed worries about Turkey being a sanctuary for sanctioned Russian assets, according to sources involved with the talks. However, the Biden administration has grown more vociferous in recent days in demanding that the Turkish government comply with sanctions. Mr. Adeyemo voiced concerns with his Turkish counterpart on Friday that Russians were using Turkey to “evade sanctions imposed by the United States and 30 other nations,” according to the Treasury Department, in a rare public condemnation of Turkey over alleged sanctions evasion.

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Mr. Adeyemo also paid a rare visit to Turkey in June, when he expressed worry over Russian asset concealing in the nation, according to authorities. According to Turkey’s Treasury Ministry, Mr. Adeyemo was informed by the country’s deputy finance minister that “no entities or people are authorised to breach the sanctions.”

In reaction to the attack on Ukraine, seven major Russian banks were barred from using the worldwide Swift payments system in March. Turkey is the only North Atlantic Treaty Organization member that has not sanctioned Russia.

Mr. Erdogan stated that he has agreed to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles and that Turkish banks are striving to expand the use of a Russian card-payments system that is an alternative to Visa and Mastercard. Following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on August 5, Mr. Erdogan committed to increase economic relations with Russia.

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