Turkey To Comply Further With The American Sanctions Against Russia

Turkish media has recently reported, Washington and Ankara eventually agreed to coordinate closer concerning the trade cooperation between Turkish firms and their Russian counterpart.

Observes confirm that the recent coordination between Turkey and Washington has been intensified after the latest hit some Turkish firms with sudden and immediate sanctions, without notifying the Turkish government or investigating with the owners themselves. The US move has created confusion among Turkish companies trading with the Russian ones.

Since the implementation of new Western sanctions against Russia in 2022, Turkey has been the only NATO country not to comply with these sanctions, even more, Ankara since then intensified its cooperation with Moscow in almost every domain, energy and trade are good examples. Even on the political level, Ankara kept good ties and close talks with Moscow unlike all its NATO colleagues. Recently, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, had been invited by his Turkish counterpart to participate in the international Antalya Diplomacy Forum, 2024.

erdogan-bidenUnder the new ‘sanctions compliance cooperation’, the US will notify Ankara about companies that could be subject to sanctions and therefore request relevant information. Turkey as a result will launch a probe into suspected violations and report the results to Washington.

Last month, it’s been reported that at the request of US authorities, some Turkish banks stopped processing trade payments from Russia except for food, moreover these banks were threatened to receive American sanctions if they do not terminate relations with their Russian partners. In the aftermath of these incidents, the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Russian authorities were aware of the situation and confirmed that negotiations were underway, blaming “unprecedented, blatant and aggressive US pressure on Turkey and Turkish companies”.

Let’s assume the previous coordination goes fully as agreed-on, still, it won’t truly affect the governmental-level ties and cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, but it would rather affect the cooperation of mid-size and small-size companies of the two nations. In other words, the further compliance of Turkey to American sanctions will make it harder for certain Russian companies to do business with Turkey but it won’t overall affect the growing economic and political cooperation between the Russian state and the Turkish state.

Despite all the current American financial pressures on Turkey, the Russo-Turkish massive cooperation in the fields of energy, security, tourism and food won’t be bothered by the US. To put it more straight, the US has no real interest in bothering Ankara further as the cooperation in Energy and Food sectors benefits the Turkish economy as much as it benefits the Russian one.

Washington can pressure Ankara to a certain degree, but not when it comes to Ankara’s core economic and political interests. In fact, Ankara is making billions of dollars in buying and reselling Gas and Oil from Russia, it’s also making billions of dollars by receiving millions of Russian tourists throughout the year, this is not to mention the massive flow of Turkish food and agriculture products into Russian markets.

Based on the previous argument, the recent American move to push Turkey to comply further with Western sanctions is not a game-changer in the growing Russo-Turkish relations. Yes, the recent move will have its “controlled” impact but the US wouldn’t pressure Ankara harder, as this would create serious political tensions with its biggest NATO ally, and therefore, the US would risk “throwing” Turkey further into the Russian and Chinese owns.

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