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How Turkey is helping Russia bypass sanctions and boost its military machine

New evidence about her underground relationship of Russia with the Turkey come to light, demonstrating Moscow’s supply of “vital” materials for its war machineand reinforcing the West’s fears, how Ankara, although a NATO ally, contributes greatly to the circumvention of the sanctions that have been imposed.

Turkish exports to Russia “dual use” itemsi.e. those that have a civilian as well as a military application, register a significant increase in 2023. According to US and EU estimates, these are items that can be used for the production cruise missiles, drones, helicopters and other weapons systems and military equipment.

As it states Euronewsduring the first nine months of 2023, the size of exports of 45 such materialsincluding microchips, designated as “high priority” by the US and EU for the embargo against Russia, reached 144 million euros.

It’s about exports to Russia but also to five former Soviet countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan), which are estimated to act as intermediaries for Moscow. This size is three times higher than the corresponding period of the previous year and almost five times the average of €26 million recorded from 2015 to 2021.

Turkey even reportedly procures a large part of these items from powerful states of the Western bloc. Turkey’s imports of dual-use items from G7 countries have increased by more than 60% so far in 2023, reaching almost $500 million (€457 million). In essence, Ankara imports larger quantities of dual-use items from Western countries, which then end up in Russia, either directly from Turkey or through intermediate stationsthus bypassing the sanctions.

The NATO allies, as reported by Financial Timesthey seem to be deeply concerned now about the role that Turkey is playing against the background of war in Ukrainewhich also strengthens the tensions between Ankara and its partners in NATO. “Turkish exports to Russia of goods vital to Moscow’s war machine have soared this year, undermining US and European efforts to limit Moscow’s ability to arm its armed forces,” the Financial Times reported. .

The US and the EU have long been working to limit imports of dual-use materials from Russia through third countries. Companies in countries such as Kazakhstan, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkey have been targeted. At the same time, as reported by Bloomberg, 80% of purchases of “high priority items” from Russia come from China and Hong Kong.

Washington is particularly focused on Turkey’s role. The upcoming visit to Turkey by Brian Nelson, US Undersecretary of the Treasury, in charge of terrorism and financial intelligence, is indicative of American concerns. According to international media, Nelson’s trip underscores the urgency with which the White House seeks to address and curb this trade.

It is noted that both the US and its European allies have highlighted the issue in Turkey, however this is an extremely complicated situation due to the dual use of exported items. In the coming weeks, Euronews reports, there will likely be increased scrutiny and diplomatic efforts to tackle the tangled web of sanctions evasion and trade in sensitive goods between Turkey and Russia.

Source: News Beast

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