Officials have warned of retaliation if Ankara helps Moscow evade sanctions after Erdogan and Putin agreed to expand cooperation.
Western capitals are increasingly alarmed by the economic cooperation between the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, warning of the growing risk that a NATO member state could be subject to punitive retaliatory measures if it helps Russia avoid sanctions.
Six Western officials told the Financial Times they were concerned about a pledge made Friday by the leaders of Turkey and Russia to expand their cooperation on trade and energy after a four-hour meeting in Sochi.
One EU official said the 27-member bloc was monitoring Turkish-Russian cooperation “more and more closely”, expressing concern that Turkey was “increasingly” becoming a platform for trade with Russia.
Washington has repeatedly warned that it will hit countries that help Russia evade sanctions with “secondary sanctions” aimed at violations outside US legal jurisdiction, but the EU has been more restrained.
US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo met with Turkish officials and Istanbul bankers in June to warn them not to become conduits for illicit Russian money.
One senior Western official suggested that countries could call on their companies and banks to leave Turkey if Erdogan follows through on the commitments he made on Friday, a highly unusual threat to another NATO member state that could damage the economy. country worth $800 billion if foreign firms agree to comply.
We will remind, Erdogan and Putin met yesterday, August 5. According to the Russians, the president of Turkey agreed partially pay for Russian gas in rubles.
Later, Erdogan said that again offered to the head of the Kremlin, Volodymyr Putin, to meet with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi. According to him, it is now important to effectively implement the plan and transform the positive atmosphere into concrete steps before returning to negotiations in Istanbul.
After the negotiations, the first assistant of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fahrettin Altun statedthat the world “cannot end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Russia.”
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