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Nicosia nails Turkey for an embargo against Russia

Nicosia nails Turkey for an embargo against Russia

Nicosia blames its EU partners and Washington for Turkey’s actions aimed at undermining the embargo imposed against Russia. The Foreign Minister speaking to his partners during the last informal Council, spoke of a second case of Halk Bank.

It was prompted by Turkey’s moves to secure exemptions on behalf of steel company MMK Metalurji, which has been affected by sanctions recently announced by the US government. These sanctions were imposed on the company’s Russian owner, Viktor Rasnikov, before me, on August 2. Sanctions have been imposed directly on Rashinkov’s MMK and its subsidiaries IMMK-FINANS and MMK Metalurji Port. The latter was founded in Turkey in 2007 and started production a decade ago.

At the latest informal council of foreign ministers in Prague, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis took occasion from the wider debate held in the context of the Gymnich to highlight Turkish moves to circumvent the sanctions imposed by the European Union. I. Kasoulidis invited his counterparts to examine more carefully the content of the latest agreement between Russia and Turkey. A similar message has been sent to the USA, the country that put the MMC on the “black list”.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister made a special reference to MMK Metalurji, for which Ankara is moving in order to get out of the “black list” of sanctions. Ankara presents the company in question as purely Turkish which will operate within Turkish borders.

I. Kasoulidis told his counterparts that once a product is transported to Turkey, it can then be exported to any other country. He also commented on the use of steel by this particular company, indicating that the products of MMK can very well be used for the construction of weapons systems by Russia.

The Foreign Minister, speaking to RIK yesterday, said that Turkey followed the same tactic in the past, with the embargo against Iran. He reminded that there is an ongoing trial against the Turkish bank “Halk”, for the export of Iranian gold.

He explained at the same time, that if the European partners choose silence, the Republic of Cyprus will persist until they wake up. The Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined that an effort is being made to overturn the image of the mediator promoted by Turkey due to the agreement on Ukrainian grains, which is accepted in the European Union.

Last week, the US Treasury Department, in a letter to Turkey, warned Turkey of possible sanctions if it continues to cooperate with Russia. Washington is increasingly concerned that the Russian government and businesses are using Turkey to evade Western economic and trade restrictions imposed in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago.

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo visited Ankara and Istanbul in June to raise Washington’s concerns that Russian oligarchs and big business are using Turkish entities to evade Western sanctions.

Turkey, as is known, playing the role of neutral and mediator between Ukraine and Russia refused to join the sanctions regime against Russia. After his visit, Adeyemo sent letters to Turkey’s business association TUSIAD and the American Chamber of Commerce in Turkey warning that companies and banks are at risk of sanctions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Adejemo’s letter states that “any individuals or entities that provide material support to persons designated by the US are themselves at risk of US sanctions.” It also states that “Turkish banks cannot expect to establish equivalent relationships with sanctioned Russian banks and maintain their respective relationships with major global banks, as well as access to the US dollar and other major currencies.”

He dismisses as nonsense

Turkey’s finance minister, according to Reuters, has dismissed as “baseless” the concerns of Turkish businesses over the US Treasury Department’s warning that they risk punishment if they maintain trade ties with sanctioned Russians.

Turkish Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati said Turkey was determined to improve economic and trade relations with its neighbors “within a framework that is not subject to sanctions.” At the same time, he made sure to send the message that Turkey expects to see the US inviting American companies to invest in the Turkish economy.


Source: Capital